Posted by: kellydh | July 5, 2007

MSN: Why kids are still obese… (let’s think about it)

An article in MSNBC.com’s Diet and Nutrition section yesterday attempts to explain why the 1 billion federal dollars spent this past year on healthy nutrition programs for kids does not seem to be working…almost at all. Think $1 billion sounds like a lot of money? Not really, considering that “The medical consequences of obesity in the U.S. — diabetes, high blood pressure, even orthopedic problems — cost an estimated $100 billion a year.”

Yikes.

So if the federal healthy living and nutrition programs, which include free fruits and veggies for some lucky schoolkids and (I’m not kidding) “videos of dancing fruit,” do not work, what will? And why don’t the dancing fruit seem to be able to convince kids to be healthy.

Hmmm… I wonder. Could it be the environment?? Let me tell you a story.

Irrespective of the number of hokey programs set up in a select few classrooms around the country, students will always go home at the end of the day. On the way out of school, the stereotypical urban public school student may stop for a snack at the snack machine. Potato chips sound like a good choice, she thinks, and happily munches her way down the street.

Once home, she flops down on the couch and turns on the TV. She says she’s too tired to exercise, or it’s too hot outside, or she doesn’t have the time, or it just doesn’t sound fun. Instead, technicolor visions of sodas and Burger King and sexy cinema stars selling a whole cornucopia of calorie laden foods in fast, gas burning cars. Who needs to worry about eating fruits and veggies and running everyday when you can just jump in the family SUV and drive down to the mall for food.

As vague as that may be, that is life for many kids today. Gone are the days when manual, calorie burning labor on the farm or out hunting were required to gather the day’s meal. Instead, today’s fast food/service economy often requires us to save our pennies and buy the cheaper, processed (and grotesquely unhealthy) foods, while spending hours upon hours working at a desk. No wonder diabetes is sometimes called the silent killer – no runs away screaming from the causes.

See the article at : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19570119/

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