March 17, 2013
Now that Mike Bloomberg's beverage crackdown has exploded like a vigorously shaken 2-liter bottle of warm root beer, it's worth considering as a case study in how not to address the obesity epidemic. After a state judge struck down the regulation in no uncertain terms last week, the New York mayor's attempt to cap certain sugary drinks at 16 ounces appeared to have ended in a hail of hubris and fizz. New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling - whose surname echoes the feeling Bloomberg seems to get every time he tells us what to do - found that the proposal exceeded the city Board of Health's authority while arbitrarily affecting some businesses and beverages but not others.
September 8, 2012 |
Obesity rates for Philadelphia schoolchildren fell significantly over four years, researchers reported Thursday, suggesting that the sort of steps taken here in one of the hardest-hit cities might help reverse a national epidemic. The rate of obese local public-school students dropped nearly 5 percent between 2006 and 2010, when national obesity rates remained unchanged after tripling since the mid-1970s. Declines were greater among African American boys and Hispanic girls in Philadelphia, two groups at high risk of obesity-related conditions such as heart disease.
August 10, 2012 |
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's proudly proclaimed views on marriage set the stage for the first documented case of the sky actually falling on a chicken - or at least a purveyor of fried, dead ones. The Jim Henson Co., friend to longtime same-sex couple Bert and Ernie, pulled its toys from the chain's kiddie meals. Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney and other big-city politicians clucked furiously over Cathy's statements, while their demagogic mirror images Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee flocked to his defense.
July 20, 2012 |
How to end the obesity epidemic? One city at a time. That's the approach Michelle Obama took Wednesday as she appeared with 11 mayors in a North Philadelphia gymnasium to discuss the latest iteration of her two-year-old Let's Move! campaign to reverse the nation's obesity epidemic. The attack on childhood obesity needs to start at the local level, she said, with mayors and other city officials taking the helm. "There's no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem," she told an enthusiastic crowd in the gym of the Lenfest Police Athletic Club at 3890 N. 10th St. Mayors "see people's struggles up close.
July 19, 2012 |
How to break the obesity epidemic? One city at a time. Appearing with nine mayors in a North Philadelphia gymnasium, First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday discussed the latest iteration of her two-year-old Let's Move! campaign to treat the nation's obesity epidemic. She announced a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create a web site - healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org - where city officials can sign up and get tips on how to raise money for the anti-obesity effort or improve programs they have in place.
February 8, 2012 |
CHICAGO - The dilapidated concrete playground at the Howe Elementary School of Excellence on Chicago's West Side was ripped out several years ago for safety reasons, leaving the children with no safe outdoor play space. Last year, however, the school received a $25,000 recreation grant for a new playground from Coca-Cola's Sprite Spark Parks program. At school, the children wrote thank-you letters to Coke; as homework they made healthy resolutions. "Coke never tried to push the product, and we needed something nearby, where it was safe," said Daphne Sherrod, assistant principal.
March 7, 2011
Study shows discrimination can worsen functional abilities of the obese Discrimination may help explain why obese people have more health problems than their thinner counterparts, according to new research from Purdue University. In a study in Social Psychology Quarterly, researchers found that obese people who perceived that they had been discriminated against had the largest decline over a 10-year period in functional abilities such as being able to climb stairs or carry groceries.
October 4, 2010 |
Unintended consequences of computerizing care The Obama administration is banking on the idea that electronic medical records will reduce errors and costs. But much refining will be needed, at least with computerized drug orders, a University of Pennsylvania study shows. Penn researchers compared two groups of doctors on their use of two drugs with potentially dangerous interactions: the blood thinner warfarin and an antibiotic, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. To test if a hard-to-override alert would reduce the drugs' use together, the researchers had the system stop those orders for half the users while leaving the old system in place for the others.
August 5, 2010
MUCH TO EVERYONE'S dismay, childhood obesity continues to skyrocket. The Obama administration committed $650 million from its economic stimulus package last year toward community wellness initiatives, and first lady Michelle Obama has put the issue high on her own agenda. There's a Child Nutrition Bill moving through Congress, too. Yet the tide remains stubbornly unchanged. Yes, I know you've heard it before, but it's worth repeating: Two-thirds of U.S. adults and one in three children are overweight or obese, which is exponentially increasing our national risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
June 24, 2010
A FEW WEEKS ago, I did a health and wellness presentation to a group of concerned parents and their children at the Christian Stronghold Baptist Church in West Philadelphia. Many of the participants were surprised about what they didn't know about general health and fitness and even more surprised when it came to facts about children's health. Parents were shocked when I said many American teens have arteries so clogged they could suffer a heart attack. "Are you serious?" one parent asked.