Childhood Obesity Hits Home

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obesegirlvectorexerciseFrom Your Health Journal…..”I wanted to promote an excellent article I found from the LA Times written by Mary McNamara, who does such a great job with this article – – I had to share it. As you know, childhood obesity is on the rise, as 1 in 3 children are now considered overweight in the United States. Along with this, obesity related diseases are also on the rise, which include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, weak joints, cancer, and asthma. Change is needed, and educating families on healthy lifestyle is important. The author of this article (who states she was overweight as a child) states a deluge of cheap junk food, the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, the absence of physical education in schools, outrageous marketing aimed at children, cost-cutting in school cafeterias — all make it far too easy for children to eat themselves sick. Well said. PLEASE visit the LA Times web site (link provided below) to read the FULL article. Ms. McNamara does such an excellent job educating her readers on this obesity epidemic facing our youth. Support her work!”

From the article…..

Take it from someone who knows: The struggle with childhood obesity, illustrated vividly on television, is a battle of both the mind and the mouth for an overweight kid.

I was a pioneer of childhood obesity.

By the time I was a junior in high school, I weighed more than 200 pounds. I was a fat kid before being a fat kid made you the topic of a national conversation and the first lady’s pet project, back when Gatorade still tasted gross and no one knew how many calories there were in anything.

For most of my childhood, I was the only fat girl in my class — I can still name the other two fat girls in my grade. Now, fat kids fill the playground and the high school bleachers, including a whole new breed of fat girl who wears skin tight jeans and mid-riffs and dares anyone to say anything. Seeing them, I must admit I am torn between despair and envy.

I never expected to see my childhood reflected on television — overweight young characters are still rare even post-“Hairspray” — but there they are, my modern equivalents, on “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” “Too Fat for 15 and Fighting Back” and, most recently, HBO’s multi-pronged documentary “The Weight of the Nation,” all part of a collective attempt to address America’s childhood obesity epidemic.

According to these shows, and many reports in other media, the root system of this crisis is insidious and widespread. A deluge of cheap junk food, the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, the absence of physical education in schools, outrageous marketing aimed at children, cost-cutting in school cafeterias — all make it far too easy for children to eat themselves sick.

As a former obese child who fights all these forces to remain a normal-sized adult, I applaud every show, every article, every effort. But here is what I know about being a fat kid: It is at least as much about your head as it is about what you put in your mouth. Yes indeed, bad foods are cheaper and more seductive than healthful foods, and we need to call a cease-fire on the endless barrage of junk kids face. But it is also true that fat kids eat differently than non-fat kids, something that is rarely discussed.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Creeping Epidemic Of Obesity Hits Asia Pacific Region

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overweightchildFrom Your Health Journal…..”Another great article from one of my favorite sites to promote called Science Codex. The article was written by Sophia Antipolis entitled Creeping Epidemic Of Obesity Hits Asia Pacific Region. Recently on this blog, I have expressed concern about how the United States is portrayed as the fat capital of the world. I found this to be unfair, and produced recent articles from England, Malta, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and other countries – which discussed how obesity is a major concern in their country. Now, another article which points to the Asia Pacific region having an obesity concern as well. The article quotes, “In many of the countries in Asia Pacific the malnutrition problem nowadays is not undernutrition it is overnutrition, which has resulted in overweight and obesity.” Please visit the Science Codex site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Over eating, sedentary lifestyles, cultural attitudes, and lack of prevention programmes are to blame for the rising epidemic of obesity in the Asia Pacific region. Overweight and obesity has quadrupled in China and societies still label people of healthy weight as poor.

Prevention will be an important theme at the 19th Asian Pacific Congress of Cardiology held 21-24 February 2013 in Pattaya, Thailand. Experts from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) will lead a one day collaborative programme on 23 February.

Professor Kui-Hian Sim, President Elect of the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology, said: “In many of the countries in Asia Pacific the malnutrition problem nowadays is not undernutrition it is overnutrition, which has resulted in overweight and obesity.”

He added: “Asia Pacific has developed rapidly and technological advances mean that children now spend too much time on the internet and mobile devices so they don’t take up much physical activity. The Asian culture revolves around food as a way of showing hospitality because in the past there was a lot of famine. As a result there is a cultural perception that if you’re not fat or obese then you are not well off.”

The Asia Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration (APCSC) found that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among 14 countries in the Asia Pacific region varied considerably by country.1 The prevalence of obesity (BMI>30k/m2) in men ranged from 0.3% in India and 1.3% in Indonesia to 13.8% in Mongolia and 19.3% in Australia. In women the lowest rates were found in India (0.6%), China and Japan (both 3.4%) and the highest rates in Australia (22.2%) and Mongolia (24.6%).

But Dr Rachel Huxley (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA), APCSC co-investigator, said: “Although the absolute prevalence of obesity in Australia was considerably higher than that of China and Japan, the relative increases in the prevalence over the last 20 years, has been much greater in these two Asian countries than in Australia.”

The combined prevalence of overweight and obesity increased by 46% in Japan from 16.7% in 1976-1980 to 24% in 2000 and by 414% in China from 3.7% in 1982 to 19% in 2002.

The APCSC researchers also calculated the population attributable fraction for cardiovascular disease due to overweight and obesity in these 14 countries. Taking China as an example, despite the relatively low prevalence of overweight and obesity, it accounted for just over 3% of fatal coronary heart disease and 3.5% fatal ischemic stroke. At the other end of the scale, overweight and obesity accounted for nearly 8% of coronary heart disease in Mongolia and over 9% in Australia. It also accounted for nearly 9% of ischaemic stroke in Mongolia and more than 10% in Australia.

Dr Huxley said: “There is convincing evidence that a sedentary lifestyle (due to a combination of reduced physical activity in the workplace and during leisure time), combined with energy dense diets are the key drivers of the obesity epidemic. Increasing ‘westernisation’ of lower- and middle-income countries in the Asia Pacific region is associated with increasing gross domestic product (GDP) and the adoption of more westernized patterns of physical inactivity and diets richer in calories and fat. The influx of fast food, confectionary and soft drink companies into the region is likely to further exacerbate the obesity problem.”

To read the full article…..Click here