September 10, 2015
HALLELUJAH, the kids are back in school, right? We're all running around buying back-to-school supplies and new clothes, but let's take a minute to revisit children's fitness and the nagging problem of childhood obesity. According to the most recent national data, we continue to fail at putting a serious dent in childhood obesity. There was serious celebration a few years ago when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a significant drop (from 14 percent to 8.4 percent)
August 23, 2015 |
Three years ago, with childhood obesity on what seemed to be a scary rise toward infinity, Philadelphia was among the first cities to report a short-term drop. With that tentative finding replicated, more or less, around the country, a new Philadelphia study has found longer-term evidence of a reversal in the 30-year trend. Considering that obesity rates tripled over that period, the recent changes are small and the burden remains large: 20.3 percent of city public school students were obese in 2012-13, down from 21.7 percent in 2006-07.
August 23, 2015 |
Kids have tried. Parents have tried. Health professionals have tried. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight, obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the last 30 years. These children are at increased risk for adult diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. The annual hospital costs related to childhood obesity and its attendant problems - comorbidities - is roughly $127 million, according to the institute.
December 24, 2014
BEING THE mother of a 6-year-old, I go to lots of children's birthday parties. I've been noticing a phenomenon called precocious puberty, which hits girls especially hard, though increasingly I've noticed it in boys, too. I'll find myself thinking, "Whoa! She's 7? She's developing breasts and looks like a little woman!" Or, "My goodness, he's 8 and already taller than me!" Witnessing this has made me curious and, along with other moms I talk with, I'm concerned, worried and bewildered.
June 6, 2014
FIRST ladies aren't normally given to sharp rebukes of Congress, but we can't blame Michelle Obama for being a bit peeved at the efforts of some on Capitol Hill to roll back school nutrition standards. At the request of certain special-interest groups, House Republicans are backing a provision in the 2015 funding bill that would give schools the option of waiving the standards for one year in districts where the lunch program is losing money. It should come as no surprise that some in the food industry - particularly those who make such questionable menu items as mini-pizzas loaded with high-fat cheese or deep-fried chicken nuggets that no longer make the nutritional cut - are balking at the standards.
May 1, 2014
KATLYN GRASSO, 20, a Wharton School junior, is CEO and founder of GenHERation, an online leadership portal for high school girls. GenHERation provides girls with an opportunity to work with national corporations and nonprofits to become catalysts for social change. Grasso has raised about $25,000 from various Wharton grants and venture funds to start up GenHERation. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for GenHERation? A: I've always been passionate about helping girls achieve personally and professionally.
August 15, 2013
IT'S A FACT: One in every eight American preschoolers and one in six older children and teens are obese. But finally, after more than three decades of steady escalation, childhood obesity numbers are coming down! Last fall, a study showed the first glimmer of hope: that the rates were falling in American cities, including Philly - down 5 percent. Now, a study released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a decline in obesity rates among low-income preschoolers in 19 of the 43 U.S. states and territories studied.
July 15, 2013
Beth Wallace Smith, a registered dietitian at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, wrote this for the Healthy Kids blog at Philly.com. Looking for another reason children should step away from the TV? You can add "contributes to obesity" to the list. A report from the World Health Organization's European office stated that the marketing of junk food to children through commercials and social media has become "disastrously effective. " Now with one in three children in America considered overweight or obese, could part of the answer really be a remote click away?
July 12, 2013
TODAY, THE CITY will unveil a new anti-poverty strategy, and since ours is one of the poorest big cities in the nation, it's not a moment too soon. Poverty is a complicated problem, but recent headway that the city has made on childhood obesity may provide optimism for our ability to grapple with this seemingly intractable problem. Like poverty, childhood obesity is complex: driven by poverty, policy and other cultural and social factors, all of which has, in the past 30 years, doubled the rate of obesity in children and tripled it in adolescents.
May 9, 2013
Congratulations to Frank Patton, who answered 11 out of 12 questions correct to win Kimberly Garrison's fitness quiz. DESPITE the national outcry over childhood obesity and related health issues, American children aren't getting adequate exercise or enough servings of vegetables and fruits every day. What's worse, many public school systems, including Philadelphia's, are being forced into draconian budget cuts that are further dismantling fitness...