Getting a Grip on Childhood Obesity

American adults are overweight and obese, which is a huge problem for our healthcare system, tax dollars, productivity and quality of life. But the fact that our kids are increasingly obese means we may be dooming the next generation to an unhappy lifetime of chronic disease. We have to take action now to halt the juvenile obesity epidemic, or the consequences will be tragic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Obesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States — triple the rate from just one generation ago.” That 17 percent equates to 12.5 million obese children, ages 2 to 19.

In its 2011 “Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report,” the CDC blames a good part of this problem on the serving and advertising of “sugar drinks and less healthy foods on school campuses.” Ads sell junk foods to kids, while parents feed their children what they ask for instead of providing balanced meals. Added to that, kids are eating supersized portions of foods containing too much sugar and fat.

If we consider the alarming numbers of inner-city children with weight problems, it’s obvious that kids don’t get enough exercise and don’t have access to safe places to play. Even for those interested in outdoor activity, finding a safe place or even getting to one is an issue. In its “State Indicator Report on Physical Activity,  Continue reading

Americans Want to See Nutritional Info When Dining

(BEVERLY HILLS) – When dining out, 65 percent of Americans say they prefer to see nutritional information on a restaurant menu rather than calories alone, according to a recent survey.

Nearly 40 percent said they’d like to see a Nutrition Facts panel, while 27 percent preferred an at-a-glance program with credits or a ratings system, according to the random telephone survey conducted by Kelton Research.

“Cities across the country are considering the public health impact of menu labeling, but our research shows that Americans are looking for more than just calorie-counts,” said John Eldredge, director of brand and business development at Guiding Stars Licensing Co., which makes nutrition navigation systems and commissioned the poll.

The survey of 1,000 adults using random digital dialing was conducted between June 23 and June 30. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.