Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Childhood Obesity Study

You may have heard about a new study that shows a more positive outlook in the fight against childhood obesity. I must warn you, it's not that great of news, but anything positive is a good sign.

Here's the ABC version of the story:

Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can lead to serious health problems in adulthood. In recent years the number of obese children in the U.S. has increased, but a new study looking at the national trend over the past eight years shows some positive signs.

Brian Gordon is one of thousands who battled a weight problem as a child. He says it wasn't until he became active in sports that the pounds started dropping off. He said, "I gained a lot of weight in middle school and my parents got me into soccer, baseball and wrestling. Things like that."

Doctor Cynthia Ogden is an epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics. She and her colleagues analyzed data from more than eight thousand children and teens ages two through nineteen who participated in national health surveys. Looking at body mass index from 1999 through 2006 they found obesity
levels are stabilizing.

Dr. Cynthia Ogden said, "This was true for boys and for girls. For whites, for African-Americans, for Mexican-Americans, and it was even true when we picked three different levels of high body mass index." 16.3% of U.S. children and teens are considered obese. While the numbers have not increased they also have not decreased, and certain ethnicities continue to be more likely to be obese. Dr.Ogden said,"By race ethnicity particularly among girls we see big disparities where about twenty-eight percent of African-American girls, twenty per cent of Mexican- American girls and about fourteen and a half percent of white teenage girls are overweight or obese."

Alisa Rank is worried about obesity problems. She said,"It's really important to get the education to kids to let them know what can happen if they're not getting exercise in the future. I don't think there's enough emphasis on that."

Dr. Ogden said, "The main concern for teenagers is that if you're too heavy as a teen you're likely to be obese as an adult and that can be a problem." Researchers are encouraged by the findings. they say the public health message remains the same. children and teens need a well balanced diet and regular physical activity.

The study appears this week in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Maria said...

The first thing I thought when I saw the picture-- good God get those kids out of McDonalds!!! Pictures like that haunt me. I suppose in a good way, because they keep me from feeding my toddler fast food and parking him in front of the TV. Instead we eat healthy, primarily veggies and fruits, and play outdoors a lot. If only his allergies would improve... said...

I told my husband today I need to hire you to come teach me how to shop healthy, fast and inexpensive.Not that we are horrible eaters, I just hate planning meals and you seem to be very good at that. I always end up wasting food. I need a grocery list and the meals that go with the food, week by week. Wouldn't that be nice for all moms? said...

This is a horrible time with allergies. My one-year-old has had a runny nose for three weeks. I am still waiting for the ear infection...

Maria said...

The easiest, most cost-effective thing I did was join a CSA this year. They are local and organic, so it's a significant savings for me and our family. We don't eat a lot of meat, and I always use the leftovers in an additional dish. Oh, and make and freeze is essential! The only "bad" thing for the CSA is that I don't necessarily know what I will get in advance (or much in advance), so I don't plan as much right now, BUT I do create a lot of dishes with whatever I have in the house. We had Taco Beuno (like Taco Bell but better) one day and I felt guilty for days!

If I had my life to do all over again, I probably would have studied nutrition in college (instead of Environmental Policy/Science BS/MS). Then you would have been able to hire me... LOL!

Shannon said...

Maria - I would love info on the co-op, I've been trying to find one!!!!

I struggle with the same things, and we do eat more fast food than we should. I try to keep healthy options here at home and I'm proud to say my kids still get excited when I suggest apples or carrots for a snack. We have a lot of room for improvement though, and one of my first goals is to pack lunches next year!

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