Childhood Obesity

Kid Fitness

How Many Kids Walk To School?

Interesting factoid of the day: In the late 1960s, 48% of kids walked or biked to school. Today, that number is 12%.

jane9 said "

I wish my kids did!

" More comments...

Poet Laureate

The Awesome White House Dance Party

Michelle Obama is glorious. We all admire Obama arms, and most of us agree she’s some kind of fashion icon, at times daring, at times over the top, or sometimes a little too obsessed with J Crew. Whatever the case, there’s a country-wide admiration for Jackie O. 2.0, and I’m celebrating her further for her stake in America’s health. Yeah, she’s had some diet news buzzing about her, and is campaigning against childhood obesity… but even cooler than that is the White House Dance Party she threw Tuesday. And more are planned! How awesome is that? No word on whether the president got into fits of the Macarena, but I hope, for everyone’s sake, he fist bumped (or, if you’re FOX, “terrorist fist-jabbed”) the White House dance guests SUPER CR3W.

Scientific

Shocking News: Vending Machines Bad For Kids

There's a lot going on in September. It's National Yoga Month, and International Square Dancing Month. And it's also National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Which brings us to today's "they had to do a study to figure that out?" report. Research has now made it official: Vending machine food is bad for kids. The study looked at more than 2,300 kids and found that the ones who ate vending machine food had higher sugar intake and lower dietary fiber, vitamin B, and iron intakes than kids who don't eat Funions and Reese's Pieces all day. Shocker. What's maybe a touch more shocking is the fact that 88% of high schools still have vending machines. That and the fact that about 32% of young people ages 2 to 19 are overweight. And that studies have shown that even that appallingly high number may be too low since parents are very likely to underestimate their children's weight and/or overestimate their height. 

Boob Tube

"Huge" Season Finale, or Is ABC Family Trying to Kill Our Children?

Until the last two minutes of the season finale, I've been enjoying the first season of Huge, the ABC Family show about a group of teenagers at a summer weightloss camp. Now I want all ten hours of my life back....

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sassletics82 said "

Oh jeez....it's hard being a teen!

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First Lady Fitness

Major League Baseball Signs On To Michelle's Let's Move Campaign

Yesterday, Michelle Obama visited Camden Yards in Baltimore to announce a new partnership between Major League Baseball and the Let's Move campaign to end childhood obesity. To the assembled crowd she said, "How many kids are getting 60 minutes, a whole hour, every day just to play? Let me see some hands. All right, we got these two. I know I’m getting mine in." I'm supposed to feel excited thinking about kids playing, and I do, but I'm equally if not more excited thinking of a true blue grown up like the First Lady getting in a whole hour of PLAY every day. Pardon my moment of unabashed fandom. Michelle's Major League Baseball public service announcement after the jump.

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Quotes

Michelle Obama Lays Down The Law

"We need to take this issue seriously, as seriously as improving under-achieving schools, as seriously as eliminating youth violence or stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS or any of the other issues that we known are devastating our communities.”

— Michelle Obama at the 101st Annual NAACP Conference yesterday, discussing childhood obesity and the urgency of the her fitness and healthy eating campaign

Gym Class Virtues

Yoga for Fortitude and Steadfastness

"Currently, it is noticed that qualities such as fortitude and steadfastness are lacking in young learners. Inclusion of yoga in the school syllabi can help students cope with such problems."

— recommendation for the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education in today's Calcutta Telegraph. Kind of nice to hear a justification for gym class other than "the kids are fat." 

Nice Package

Cartoon Food More Delicious Than Regular Food

Turns out, food that's marketed with cartoon characters actually tastes better to kids, at least according to a recent study at Yale. Given the choice of foods presented in plain packaging and foods presented in cartoon packaging, kids chose the cartoon-packaged food 85% of the time. No big surprise. But what's interesting is that kids reported that the cartoon-packed foods actually tasted better. This means one of two things: Kids are dirty little liars who'll say anything to feed their cartoon-addiction, or our perception of taste is highly malleable. All in all, though, I'd say this is bad news for food that doesn't come in packages. Fruit stickers need to get personalities immediately!

Poet Laureate

For Kids, More TV Means More Wedgies

A recent study revealed that the more overweight a child is, even with the rapidly rising rates of childhood obesity, the more likely they are to be bullied by their thinner classmates, regardless of intelligence, popularity, sex, race, or class. And another new study shows that the problem starts early, and that TV plays a major role: “An hour more TV a week as a toddler meant a child was 10 percent more likely to be bullied, exercised 13 percent less, weighed 5 percent more and ate 10 percent more snacks.” As a “fat kid” who lived by “bully or be bullied” the first 12 years of my life, this is pretty depressing.

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deemia said "

I just read an interesting column on this very ..." More comments...

Newslinks

Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" Campaign and Commercial Weight Gain

  • Michelle Obama debuted "Let's Move," the administration's campaign to fight childhood obesity, yesterday. The big emphasis: Little changes, like walking more, trimming portions, or subbing water for soda. 
  • Related: A new study shows that hours spent watching television isn't a predictor of obesity in children. But hours spent watching television with commercials is. If kids watch commercial-free videos, they're not fatter. If kids watch TV with ads for Oreos and Doritos, that's when they get plump. You have to figure that as adults we're not totally immune either, which is why you should perhaps consider twinklefee's Commercial Break strategy.