Soft-drink makers, restaurateurs and other businesses are suing to block the city’s move to end the sale of super-sized, sugary drinks in many eateries.
The American Beverage Association and others sued the city Friday. City officials had no immediate response.
The city Board of Health approved the unprecedented regulation last month. It would stop restaurants, cafeterias and concession stands from selling soda and other high-calorie drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.
The rule is set to take effect in March.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls it a reasonable, promising way to curb obesity.
Mostly a PR stunt, although with good intentions, the push to reduce child obesity has very few teeth. I feel that the institutions that are responsible (yes large corporations vie daily to influence the RDA of foods etc that are introduced into our schools) for the foods in our schools are interested mostly in profits and have little regard for the health of our children.
In my opinion we need to focus more on nutrition and less on profitability. Source more fresh produce for local schools from local growers when possible. Take out the vending machines, do away with canned and processed foods offering ONLY ORGANIC FOODS AND NO GMOs!
Junk food widely available at U.S. elementary schools despite anti-obesity push
By Dina ElBoghdady, Published: February 6
Nearly half of elementary school children can buy junk food at school, a trend that contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic and underscores the need for federal regulation of school snacks, according to a study published Monday in a pediatric journal.
The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, comes as federal regulators are crafting a proposal that would set new nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold in vending machines, snack bars and elsewhere in schools.
The proposal will not cover foods that are part of the federally subsidized school meal program. That program was revamped recently by the Obama administration and requires participating school cafeterias to start serving twice as many fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and less sodium and fat when the next school year begins.
Consumer advocates are hoping for an equally dramatic change in so-called “competitive foods” that are sold outside the school meal program. They say these foods, including potato chips and cookies, are widely available but barely regulated in schools.
Federal law bans only a small subset of competitive foods, such as sodas and certain types of candy, from being sold in cafeterias during mealtime. But those products are available to kids in other venues at school, even during lunch, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Such foods also include sandwiches, pizza and other a la carte items that are not federally reimbursed.
“Really, it’s a very weak regulation at this point,” said Lindsey Turner, lead author of the study and a health psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “We’re at a time of transition and opportunity for these competitive foods.”
The study, based on mail-back surveys from about 3,900 public and private elementary schools nationwide, found that about half of the students could buy foods in one or more competitive venues during the 2009-10 school year. Access to these foods did not change significantly during the 2006-07 through 2009-10 school years.
The study highlighted “striking” regional differences. About 60 percent of public elementary school kids had access to sugary snacks in the South, where childhood obesity rates are the highest. This compares with 24 percent in the West and 30 percent in the Midwest. But fruits and vegetables also were more available in the South.
The study assessed only access to snacks, not consumption or the link to obesity. It cited a separate 2009 study, however, in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showing that 29 percent of elementary school students consumed competitive foods, usually unhealthy ones. A separate study strongly linked the availability of unhealthy foods and drinks in competitive venues with greater calorie intake.
In early 2010, the American Beverage Association said that its members had voluntarily reduced the calories in drinks shipped to schools by 88 percent. Its members also stopped offering full-calorie soft drinks in elementary school vending machines.
Jim McCarthy, president of the Snack Food Association, said he had not seen this week’s study. But the group’s members, including Frito-Lay and Kraft, have been voluntarily reducing fats, sodium and sugars in their products for at least six years, he said. Last week, the chairman and highest-ranking Democrat on the House agriculture committee wrote a letter urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make sure that the final proposal is consistent with the standards set for the federally funded school meal program.
If you haven’t taken a look at the school menu lately you might want to have a look. Then ask yourself, honestly, is that a healthy way to eat…for anyone?
No matter how much you try, does it seem harder and harder to keep weight off. Well part of the reason is that we are exposed to so many chemicals on a regular basis.
In her book ‘The 21st Century is Making you Fat’ former Ecologist Editor Pat Thomas details the full range of industrial and everyday chemicals known to encourage us to get fat
Include the pesticides DDT, chlordane, aldrin, dieldrin and heptachlor and the now banned industrial lubricants PCBs, as well as dioxins and chlorophenols. High levels of organochlorines have been found to alter metabolism in the body and essentially stop us losing fat.
Organophosphate pesticides, such as malathion, dursban, diazinon and carbonates, constitute 40 per cent of all pesticides used. These chemicals are mainly utilised inside buildings, as opposed to in agriculture. They are neurotoxic (harmful to nerve tissue) and hormone-disrupting.
Including aldicarb, bendiocarb, carbaryl, propoxur and thiophanate methyl, carbamates are used extensively in agriculture, forestry and gardening. They are suspected hormone-disrupters.
These include tributyltin (TBT) and the mono- and dibutyltins (MBT, DBT). These chemicals have many applications, including as stabilizers in PVC, catalysts in chemical reactions. They are also found in glass coatings, agricultural pesticides, biocides in marine anti-foulant paints and wood treatments and preservatives. Organotins are damaging to the thyroid and immune system and potential hormone-disrupters.
An oestrogen mimic used to make clear, hard, reusable plastic products; it is also used in the manufacture of polymers, fungicides, antioxidants, dyes, polyester resins, flame-retardants and rubber chemicals, and some dental resins.
Hormone-disrupting chemicals, these are produced in large volumes and are commonly detected in ground water, rivers and drinking water, as well as in meat and dairy products. Around 95 per cent of phthalate production over the last few decades has been tied to the PVC industry. Phthalates can be found in many plastics and consumer products – everything from hair spray and nail varnish to plastic water bottles and T-shirts.
These are added to many products, including computers, TVs and household textiles to reduce fire risk. They are also found in baby mattresses, foam mattresses, car seats and PVC products. Office workers who use computers, hospital cleaners and workers in electronics-dismantling plants are at particular risk from these chemicals. Polybrominated flame-retardants are oestrogen mimics and can also affect the thyroid.
A common food pollutant that belongs to a family of chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It is derived from coal tar and enters the atmosphere as a result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. In animals it has been shown to cause weight gain in the absence of any detectable change in food intake. It is possible that other PAHs may have a similar effect.
Neurotoxic chemicals that include xylene, dichlorobenzene, ethylphenol, styrene, toluene, acetone and trichloroethane are commonly found in human blood samples. They are necessary for a wide range of industrial processes and are found widely in adhesives, glues, cleaning fluids, felt-tip pens, perfumes, paints, varnishes, pesticides, petrol, household cleaners and waxes.
This is principally used as a protective plating for steel, in electrode material in nickel-cadmium batteries and as a component of various alloys. It is also present in phosphate fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides. Cadmium in the soil is taken up through the roots of plants and distributed to edible leaves, fruits and seeds, and is eventually passed on to humans and other animals, where it can build up in milk and fatty tissues. Cadmium is neurotoxic and a potential hormone-disrupter.
Professions that put their employees at risk of exposure to this neurotoxin include lead-smelting, -refining and -manufacturing industries, brass/bronze foundries, the rubber and plastics industries, steel-welding and -cutting operations, and battery manufacturing plants. Construction workers and people who work in municipal waste incinerators, in the pottery and ceramics industries, radiator-repair shops and other industries that use lead solder may also be among high-exposure groups.
In this interesting article below by Mike Barrett featured on Infowars, we see some things you may not have thought of that will promote weight gain and even obesity. We know that diet and exercise play a major role but many who take care of these factors are still challenged when it comes to keeping their weight in line. Here is the article which offers some good food for thought. Of course the role of detoxing the body with greens and cleanses and giving it optimal nutrition must never come in to question. These things are and will always be essential components of a healthy life.
There is no doubt that the Western diet holds most of the weight regarding the escalating obesity epidemic we are facing today.
While these obesity contributors are widely known, there are actually some other very surprising factors to consider when analyzing the reason for the nation’s continued growth.
Antibiotics Could be to Blame for Excess Weight
As surprising as it may seem, antibiotics have actually be pinpointed as being a promoter for obesity as well as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. While antibiotics succeed in destroying bad bacteria, which is their intended use, they also destroy good bacteria in the gut known as friendly flora.
This lack of bacterial discrimination leads to a shortage in friendly gut bacteria which are responsible for regulating overall health, including weight management.
Pollution has been Connected with Weight Gain
Not many people would point their finger at pollution when searching for a cause for obesity. And while poor air quality certainly isn’t a primary reason for extra weight, it does indeed have a link to extra weight. Research has shown that ingesting toxic chemicals found in both food and the air leads to increased fat storage in babies. A defense mechanism is triggered in unborn babies when mother’s take in these toxic chemicals which is supposed to protect the baby. It just so happens that this defense mechanism is the formation of fat.
Shampoo, Plastic, and Pesticides
There is growing concern regarding various chemicals used in products today and their impact on our health. Chemicals like bisphenol-A, phthalates, PCB’s, POP’s, and pesticides, which are all endocrine disruptors, have been tied to many health ailments such as infertility, asthma, diabetes, and obesity. Paula Baillie-Hamilton, an expert on metabolism and environmental toxins at Stirling University in Scotland, was one of the first to point out the connection between environmental toxins and obesity. She noted that:
Overlooked in the obesity debate is that the earth’s environment has changed significantly during the last few decades because of the exponential production and usage of synthetic organic and inorganic chemicals
Environmental toxins are lesser known evils when it comes to health complications, but it may be time people started seriously considering these toxins when evaluating their health.
If the statistic below is true, 1/2 of our adult population has high cholesterol, then we might be in trouble. I urge everyone to go to the www.enerfood.com site and look at the blog scroll there where you will find an article about good and bad cholesterol.
High blood pressure on the other hand is almost never any good. This is known as the ‘silent killer’ as many people walk around unaware that there BP is high.
Half of U.S. Adults Have High Cholesterol or High Blood Pressure
By MC Kelby
February 6, 2011 – 1:03pm
Nearly 100 million Americans are currently at risk for heart disease.
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of U.S. adults have either unhealthy cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.
In addition, approximately one-third of Americans have a high cholesterol issue.
Also, federal health officials said very large numbers are not receiving treatment for their high cholesterol.
The CDC stated that two-thirds of adults with high cholesterol and half with high blood pressure are not being treated effectively. Health officials believe many are not doing enough to control their risks and the fragmented U.S. health care system is partly to blame.
In a telephone press conference, CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said, “In fact, more than 80 percent of people who have out-of-control blood pressure or out-of-control cholesterol do have public or private health insurance.”
The CDC report, which is based on the most recent available survey data, found that people without health insurance are the least likely to have their cholesterol or blood pressure under control; even those with good health insurance are not doing everything they can.
Frieden also said, “Although we’re making some progress, the United States is failing to prevent the leading cause of death, cardiovascular disease, despite the existence of low-cost, highly effective treatments.”
The most common causes of heart disease are unhealthy cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. In most developed countries, heart disease is the number one killer. Heart disease can be prevented by diet and exercise and pharmaceutical drugs currently on the market.
The CDC report also found that one-third of adults have high blood pressure, a third of them do not get treated for it and half do not have it fully under control.
Also, the unhealthy cholesterol levels/figures are worse. A third of U.S. adults have poor cholesterol readings, half of them are not treated for it and two-thirds do not have their cholesterol fully controlled.
According to CDC, the health care reform law can help by requiring health insurers to cover and full pay blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. Also, the CDC encouraged the use of electronic medical records.
During the press conference, Frieden praised Wal-Mart’s initiative to promote and cut prices on healthier food at its stores.
In the U.S., The American Heart Association (AHA) projected the costs of heart disease could triple to more than $800 billion a year between now and 2030. The AHA believes treating high blood pressure could be the most expensive part of a rising cost of approximately $389 billion by 2030.
Not because there is a lack of food, but a lack of the money necessary to purchase it! This is a shame, to the country and all of us as individuals. A country is only as strong as its weakest link and I believe we are diving to weaknesses heretofore unseen.
This is an unforgivable situation, one that must be corrected and quickly. How can we expect optimum performance and rational thought when you might be starving? This is an untenable situation and one that will lead to the breakdown of our country. Hungry people with children tend to lose all hope and have nothing to lose…and act accordingly.
More US households short of food
Almost 15% of US households experienced a food shortage at some point in 2009, a government report has found.
US authorities say that figure is the highest they have seen since they began collecting data in the 1990s, and a slight increase over 2008 levels.
Single mothers are among the hardest hit: About 3.5 million said they were at times unable to put sufficient food on the table.
Hispanics and African Americans also suffer disproportionately.
The food security report is the result of an annual survey conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Households deemed “food insecure” experienced a period of inadequate food supply as a result of their economic situation, but did not necessarily remain without sufficient food for the entire year.
Although the number of food insecure households has risen sharply since the recession, the USDA says the growth rate has slowed, particularly toward the end of 2009.
The BBC’s Katie Connolly, in Washington, says the results will be seen as somewhat surprising in a developed country that is also facing the problem of rising obesity rates.
Almost 60% of those experiencing food shortages were eligible for assistance to purchase food through a government food stamps program.
food security graph
Since the recession, the Obama administration has expanded food stamp funding. In 2009, around 34 million Americans participated in food stamp programs each month.
Among those categorized as having “very low food security” – that is, those who experience the most severe food shortages – 28% of adults said that there were times in 2009 when they did not eat for an entire day because they could not afford to buy food.
Ninety-seven percent reported either skipping a meal or cutting the size of their meal for the same reason.
The report says that children in low food security households are often shielded from such behaviour by adults.
The prevalence of food insecurity has placed increased pressure on soup kitchens and community organizations to provide for the poor.
But Jeannine Sanford, the Deputy Director for Washington DC food pantry Bread For The City, warned against assuming that the problem of hunger would be alleviated when the recession ends because there are some groups whose conditions are virtually unaffected by the bad economy.
Continue reading the main story
The nature of receiving disability (welfare) is that the person is permanently disabled. It’s not like the economy changes and that changes for them. They’re still going to be trying to struggle on a really limited amount of income.”
End Quote Jeannine Sanford Deputy Director, Bread for the City
With its plethora of government jobs, Washington DC has not been as badly hit by the recession as other cities. Still, its soup kitchens and community organizations are struggling to keep up with demand – as they have been for some time.
Washington has long had a relatively large population of underprivileged people in need of assistance.
Ms Sanford says that the number of hungry people seeking help obtaining food has not changed much during the recession. Most of the people who come to her organization are the elderly, the disabled or those in minimum wage jobs who live well below the poverty line.
These people tend to live on fixed incomes, and have little hope of their income improving when the economy rebounds.
There were poor people in DC before the recession, and they will still be poor and need help when it is over, she says.
“The nature of receiving disability (welfare) is that the person is permanently disabled,” Ms Sanford told the BBC. “It’s not like the economy changes and that changes for them. They’re still going to be trying to struggle on a really limited amount of income.”
Have you prepared yourself and your family for food shortages?
In a previous article posted here the cost of obesity to the country were estimated at 76 billion, now this research is saying 170 billion is the cost! Which is correct or does it really matter? Either way the cost is way too high and sadly it is the obese person that has the power to change their ways and lose weight.
Urge your fat friends to lose weight, it is good for the country perhaps? It is definitely a positive health benefit for that individual.
While 170 billion is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the Fed printing 100s of billions of dollars in the blink of an eye….it all adds up.
Obesity costs U.S. $168 billion, study finds
ATLANTA (AP) — Nearly 17% of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on obesity, according to new research that suggests the nation’s weight problem may be having close to twice the impact on medical spending as previously estimated.
One expert acknowledged that past estimates likely underestimated the costs and said the new study — which places obesity-related medical costs at around $168 billion — probably is closer to the truth.
“I think these are the most recent and perhaps statistically sound estimates that have come out to date,” said Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy researcher at Emory University who has focused on the cost of health care.
The new research was done by John Cawley of Cornell University and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University. It was released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization.
An influential recent study released last year — which has been cited by federal health officials — estimated that obesity-related medical costs have reached $147 billion, or about 9% of total medical costs.
The earlier study also estimated that obesity adds about $1,400 to a person’s annual medical bills. The new study suggests the added cost is double that, exceeding $2,800.
Cawley and Meyerhoefer used a database that other obesity researchers have used — a federal survey of U.S. citizens and their doctors and other medical providers, which is considered the most complete information on the cost and use of health care in the country.
The new study looked at the data base’s information on nearly 24,000 non-elderly adult patients from the years 2000 through 2005. Results were reported in 2005 dollars.
Why did Cawley and Meyerhoefer come up with larger estimates?
— Past studies have relied just on self-reported weight, and many people understate their actual weight. The new research made statistical adjustments to come up with what are believed to be truer figures.
— The authors tried to better establish that excess weight was a cause for the medical costs. Previous studies stopped short of saying obesity caused the costs because there was too great a chance other factors could be responsible. Cawley and Meyerhoefer tried to overcome that problem by also looking at the weight of study subjects’ relatives to determine if obesity ran in the family. If so, they labeled the medical costs of a fat person in that family to be caused by obesity.
The two researchers at first were a bit surprised by how large their estimates were, but obesity is clearly a major burden on society, said Cawley, an associate professor of policy analysis and management.
“It’s hard to find conditions that aren’t worsened or made more expensive by obesity,” he said.
Thorpe said the new estimates highlight a need to invest more in obesity-fighting programs.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Tell them about the Amino Acid Balanced Meal Replacement from EnerHealth Botanicals or the EnerFood from the same company to lose weight. If they try the products they will not regret it!
If the research in the embedded report is true, one of the best things a person can do, IF OBESE, IS TO LOSE WEIGHT! Productivity will rise!
So not only will you be doing your body and self image a favor you will be contributing to the economy via increased productivity. Let’s face it, fat people, are sick more often and longer than those that are not.
Obesity’s hidden job costs: $73 billion
Productivity drops, sick days go up as BMI rises, new study finds
Loss of productivity due to obesity costs as much as medical expenditures for the condition, according to a new study that pegs the cost of obesity among full-time workers in the United States at $73.1 billion per year.
Obesity’s hidden costs, the researchers said, stem from the fact that obese people tend to be less productive than normal-weight people while at work — simply accounting for the extra sick days they take misses a big part of the picture.
The study, published Friday in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, took into account medical expenses, sick days and health-related productivity costs associated with obesity. The findings suggest employers could save money by investing in health improvement programs for their employees, the researchers said.
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“Now that we’ve uncovered this sort of hidden cost, I think that it ups the ante for [employers] to think harder about what sort of interventions they want to implement,” study author Eric Finkelstein, deputy director for health services and systems research at Duke University and the National University of Singapore, told LiveScience.
Plenty of studies have linked obesity to health-care costs and lost workdays. But fewer have examined “presenteeism,” or lost performance while at work. Finkelstein and his co-authors used data from a nationally representative survey on medical expenditures (2006 data) combined with data on absenteeism and presenteeism from the internet-based U.S. National Health and Wellness Survey (2008 data). Pregnant and underweight individuals were excluded from the analysis.
Story: Find out why your desk job is making you fat
The research was funded by Allergan, Inc., a health-care company that makes LAP-BAND and other devices used in weight-loss surgeries.
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The cost of extra pounds
After controlling for race and ethnicity, income, education levels, insurance coverage, marital status and smoking, the researchers found significant costs of being obese. These costs increased with body mass index (BMI), a measure of height and weight that researchers use to define obesity. (A BMI over 30 is considered obese.)
Presenteeism due to health problems was common in workers regardless of weight, but it doubled with each increase from mild to moderate to extreme obesity. Female employees with BMIs between 30 and 34.9, for example, experienced 6.3 days of lost time per year (while at work), a number that jumped to 22.7 days in women with BMIs over 40. Men in the lower BMI category lost 2.3 days of at-work productivity per year, while men with BMIs over 40 lost 21.9 — three full weeks.
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“As you increase in your BMI, there is just a tremendous increase in the impact of that obesity on work productivity,” said Marco daCosta Di Bonaventura, the director of health economics and outcomes research at Kantar Health (a health-care consulting company) and a co-author of the study.
Overall costs also increased along with BMI. Men with BMIs of 30 to 34.9, the low end of the obese range, cost $1,143 more each per year in medical expenditures, missed workdays and lost productivity at work than normal-weight men. Men with BMIs between 35 and 39.9 cost $2,491 more each, and men with BMIs over 40 cost $6,087 more.
Women showed a similar pattern. Having a BMI between 30 and 34.9 cost $2,524 extra each year, while a BMI between 35 and 39.9 cost $4,112. Each woman with a BMI over 40 cost on average $6,694 more than a normal-weight woman.
Despite the high prevalence of obesity in America, individuals on the 40-and-over side of the BMI-spectrum are relatively rare. According to a 2010 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, about one-third of U.S. adults over age 20 are obese. But only 14.3 percent of American adults have a BMI of 35 or more, and just 5.7 percent have BMIs over 40.
All told, obesity among full-time workers costs $73.1 billion per year, the researchers estimated. That’s the equivalent of hiring 1.8 million new workers at annual salaries of $42,000, which is what the average American makes each year.
In comparison, a 2010 report by the American Lung Association estimates that the costs of healthcare, premature death and loss of productivity from smoking tally to $301 billion per year. About 23 percent of Americans smoke. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry estimates that mental illness, which also affects about a quarter of Americans, costs the economy $317 billion every year in lost wages, healthcare costs and disability benefits.
Story: Ditch the diet soda, it might wreck your diet
While 18 percent of the total cost of obesity was because of lost workdays, lost productivity at work due to health troubles contributed 41 percent of the extra cost. That was the same percentage as the additional cost for medical expenditures.
One reason that presenteeism was so much more influential than absenteeism may reflect a tendency by workers to power through illness instead of taking sick leave, Finkelstein said.
“Especially in a bad economy people want to get paid, so they find a way to go into work even if they’re not feeling great,” he said. “I think these results are bearing that out.”
Weight loss is really necessary in our youth today as 2 in 5 are obese! This is just insanity here. These are the wave of our future and they may not be able to take the reins.
There is ample research that obesity affects short and long term health. Do we really want to see our kids go down this road.
I hope you and your kids were out and about today…enjoying the outdoors and getting some exercise.
Weight loss necessary for US kids – 2 out of 5 obese!
Weight loss programs seem to be becoming a necessity in the US, what with 2 out of 5 kids being obese or overweight. A new study by New York City (NYC) Fitnessgram assessment covering school year 2008-2009 reveals that 40 percent of the 637,000 children from kindergarten through the eight grades were either overweight or obese. These kids ranged from the age of 5 years old to 13 or 14.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showcases that 35.5 percent was the national average rate of obesity and overweight symptoms of children aged 6 to 11 years. The rate of childhood obesity in the city of New York was quite high, hovering around 22 percent, as compared to 19.6 percent nationwide.
Weight related issues were found to be higher in less affluent localities, with Corona, Queens (51 percent), Harlem (49 percent) and Washington Heights (47 percent) posting the highest rates of obesity.
Children from the more affluent neighborhoods were found to have a lower rate of obesity, for instance Hudson River in Manhattan stood at 11.7 percent, TriBeCa stood at 15 percent and SoHo was marked 17.7 percent.
Weight problems have been gradually on the increase over the past few years. Reports show that childhood obesity that had been determined to be 6.5 percent in 1980 has more than doubled to stand at 19.6 percent in 2008.
Childhood obesity is linked with numerous other medical situations including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, asthma, and diabetes mellitus as well as social and psychological problems like stigmatization and low self-esteem.
Weight loss programs for overweight and obese children should begin with physical activity and healthy eating. It is equally important that kids burn energy by participating in a lot of physical exertions like games and other activities as well as eat foods that are fiber-rich in carbohydrates.
Problem is that kids won’t eat what doesn’t taste good to them. Unfortunately we have allowed them to ‘train’ their taste buds to like fast foods. It takes about 4 weeks to retrain taste buds and is well worth the effort.
The article below points out a very big perception problem, many Americans don’t see themselves as overweight even though they really and truly are! There are so many ways that our minds fool us into thinking incorrectly. I suppose those that are fat would hang out with other fat folks and then start thinking that fat was the new normal…??
WAKE UP AMERICANS…obesity is a huge problem in this country. Gluttony is not a desirable trait. The bible even talks about this and highly suggests that people not indulge.
Many Americans Don’t Even Know They’re Fat
Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds 30 percent of those overweight think they’re normal size
By Amanda Gardner
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THURSDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) — Many Americans have skewed perceptions when it comes to their weight, often believing they are thinner than they really are, even when the scales are shouting otherwise, a new poll finds.
As part of the Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey, respondents were asked to provide their height and weight, from which pollsters calculated their body-mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height. Respondents were then asked which category of weight they thought they fell into.
Thirty percent of those in the “overweight” class believed they were actually normal size, while 70 percent of those classified as obese felt they were simply overweight. Among the heaviest group, the morbidly obese, almost 60 percent pegged themselves as obese, while another 39 percent considered themselves merely overweight.
These findings may help to explain why overweight and obesity rates in the United States continue to go up, experts say.
“While there are some people who have body images in line with their actual BMI, for many people they are not, and this may be where part of the problem lies,” said Regina Corso, vice president of Harris Poll Solutions. “If they do not recognize the problem or don’t recognize the severity of the problem, they are less likely to do something about it.”
And that means that obesity may be becoming the new norm, raising the specter of increasing rates of health threats such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
“I think too many people are unsure of what they should actually weigh,” said Keri Gans, a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “For many, they have grown up in a culture were most people are overweight and that is the norm, or they have been surrounded by too many celebrities and fashion in the media and think very thin is the norm.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 percent of adults aged 20 and older are obese, and 34 percent are overweight. Among children, 18 percent of teens aged 12 to 19 are obese, 20 percent of children aged 6 to 11 are obese, as are 10 percent of kids aged 2 to 5.
Most respondents to the poll who felt they were heavier than they should be blamed sloth, rather than poor eating habits, for their predicament.
“In the mindset of most Americans, they’re not looking at this as a food problem as much as an exercise problem,” Corso said.
According to the poll, 52 percent of overweight people and 75 percent of both the obese and morbidly obese felt they didn’t exercise enough.
“We’re seeing the couch potato stigma [syndrome],” Corso said. “Three out of five Americans overall are saying they don’t exercise as much as they should.”
Added Gans: “It is sad that 59 percent of people who responded know they should be getting more exercise but yet aren’t. Maybe they set the bar too high and forget that simply walking counts as exercise.”
Food appeared to be a lesser culprit than lack of exercise in people’s minds, with 36 percent of overweight respondents, 48 percent of obese respondents and 27 percent of those morbidly obese feeling they ate more than they “should in general.”
A third of overweight people, 55 percent of obese people and 59 percent of morbidly obese people felt they ate too much of the wrong types of food.
As for weight-loss interventions, the respondents deemed surgery the most effective method, followed by prescription drugs, then drugs and diet-food supplements obtained over-the-counter.
About half felt that procedures such as gastric bypass and stomach stapling were either very or fairly effective in helping people shrink their girth. Faith in these remedies seemed similar, regardless of the respondents’ weight.
“Americans like the quick fix and that’s what they think the surgery is even though there are so many other things” that work, Corso said. “And so many people reverse their own surgery. These numbers are staggering.”
Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, noted that “when [Dr. Everett Coop, surgeon general in the 1980s] wrote ‘Shape Up America,’ he said the biggest health problem facing America was not AIDS, not cancer, it’s obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Since then … we’ve seen nothing but a rise in obesity despite all of these efforts that have gone on now since the 1980s.”
“The American public knows this but it’s hard and it’s something that they’re not quite ready to do,” Corso added. “This wake-up call still isn’t ringing as loudly as it could.”
The poll included 2,418 adults (aged 18 and over) who were surveyed online between Aug. 17 and 19.
Read more about the poll methodology and findings at Harris Interactive.
To check your BMI, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
SOURCES: Regina Corso, vice president, Harris Poll Solutions, New York City; Keri Gans, R.D., spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association; Mitchell Roslin, M.D., chief of obesity surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City
Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
So grab a carrot or celery stick when you get hungry. Get serious about losing weight and you will not regret it. You will feel better and have more energy to say the least!