Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Childhood Obesity

Two days ago I went to a Science Cafe party on City University of New York research in New York City and London on "Reversing Obesity in New York City". A booklet is available if you contact the CUNY Campaign Against Diabetes. Studies found that, in the United States, food lobbyists make it more difficult to pass regulation against advertising of unhealthy foods. In both places, children are spending more time on the Internet and playing video games than exercising. Poor children have less healthy affordable eating options, especially if you look at what is available in their neighborhoods. They may have less space and safe areas in which to exercise. The United States had the higher amount of television advertisements for sweet and fatty foods for children. Portion sizes are huge in the United States compared to other countries.

I think one can eat sugar or junk food in moderation if they also eat healthy food and exercise. Clearly, however, the usual food available in school cafeterias and the predominance of "fun food" advertised for children leans too heavily on the unhealthy and empty calories side. And children must learn to exercise for health and fun to counterbalance sitting to do homework, television, and video games.

The researchers propose: creating healthy food zones, taxing unhealthy food; supporting counter-advertising campaigns, regulating advertising; stop misleading "healthy' labels; and discouraging racial and ethnic advertising of unhealthy food.

Contact Nicholas, Freudenberg, DrPH at Hunter College. I will not give out his information.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on,, and If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

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