What editorial writers are saying about childhood obesity
■ Led by first lady Michelle Obama, the White House has launched a campaign against obesity in kids. Some states are eyeing their own initiatives.
Posted June 7, 2010.
Recent research concludes that nearly one in three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, but advocates differ over how to tackle the problem.
Obesity worth fighting
The good thing about the White House plan is that it encourages parents to be better role models. Some [recommendations] involve changing the way food is marketed and labeled so that parents have useful, understandable information. Recommendations also would seek to limit some advertising practices targeted at children. A lot of the recommendations involve education, which include teaching parents and children about modern dietary challenges, the value of physical activity and that it is not healthy for children to spend all of their time sitting in front of a television screen or computer monitor. It took us decades to get to this point and it will take decades to get us back. Parents and teachers must ingrain into young people the healthy eating and exercise habits that will last a lifetime. Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, May 22
Obesity fight will take more than industry promises
The first big event [from] first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to fight childhood obesity came this week with the announcement that leading food processors are joining the battle, committing to collectively reduce 1 trillion calories from their offerings in the next two years. While it sounds promising, we are skeptical. These companies are in the business of selling products, not protecting our health. It may be bad for business to get a reputation for killing your customers, but the reputation can be fixed while still falling short of Obama's health goals. Portland (Maine) Press Herald, May 21
No junk -- Schools need help giving kids wholesome food
Prodded by the [North Carolina] General Assembly, the state's school districts are serving more fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods. That's good, but it turns out it's also expensive. More than half the state's school systems are losing money feeding their students, according to a recent report. When they return to session next week, lawmakers will get recommendations from their Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity that could increase federal funding for school cafeterias. We hope they do that. Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, May 5
Budging the dial on childhood obesity
According to the study, published Monday [May 3] in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the rate of childhood obesity has declined by 32% in Oregon, uniquely in Oregon among the 50 states. How is this possible? Well, no one is really sure. But first some caveats. Obesity, remember, means the fattest of the fat. Children in the 95th percentile and above qualify as obese. "Overweight" is the broader term, defined as children in the 85 percentile and above, including the obese. And on this broader measure, the new federal study shows 24.3% of Oregon kids are overweight. Oregonian, May 7
State to teens: You're lame
Another Nanny State doozy is SB1255. ... It forbids the sale of Gatorade-type sports drinks on school campuses, to protect kids from childhood obesity. As if they can't get sweetened drinks at home or at stores. At some point, one would think, teens would be allowed to make some of their own choices as they get closer to adulthood. What kind of society doesn't allow a 17-year-old even to make a decision about whether to slurp a sport drink? Orange County (Calif.) Register, May 21
Let's make Green Bay better place for kids
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and it is only getting worse. We need to pull together as a community to reverse that, and become the place where the healthiest kids in America live, prosper and make this a better place for us all. So beginning today, let's transform the discussion about childhood obesity into a campaign for healthy living and fitness. Let's join forces to set our sights high. Let's raise America's healthiest kids. Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette, May 16