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Preventing Obesity is about Community Planning and Individual Activity
The California Endowmenthas published a report entitled, "Preventing Obesity in California". Here are a few excepts, but the report bears reading if you are fighting the "middle age bulge"...or have children at risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of children of all ages in the United States do not get enough physical activity, with fully one-third considered inactive. In California, one in three children is considered overweight, with four in 10 estimated to be unfit. In some California school districts, fully half of all children are overweight.
Obese children are at greater risk for a number of health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood lipids, asthma, sleep apnea, early maturation, orthopedic problems and depression. Before 1992, Type 2 diabetes (previously known as adultonset diabetes) accounted for 2 to 4 percent of all childhood diabetes cases. Today that proportion has reached 45 percent.
Today, addressing the obesity crisis requires both individual and community level interventions–supported by institutional practices and policies–that emphasize healthier eating and activity and in all settings, including homes, schools, neighborhoods, health care and the media.
Reversing the upsurge of overweight and physical activity among Californians will require the involvement of everyone. And the public seems to be willing to take on the challenge. A study commissioned by The California Endowment found that nearly all Californians (92 percent) believe the problem of childhood obesity is serious, and eight in 10 think the problem has worsened.
Interestingly, the majority of Californians opt for a community approach to resolve the crisis, such as improvements to school health environments and fast food restaurant and nutrition labeling...
Studies have linked the obesity epidemic to several environmental factors, including:
Marketing and Advertising:
Restaurants are in the "health business" -- furnishing nutrition for the well being of their customers. Where does responsible nutrition through portion sizes, ingredients and emotional ploys enter the business strategy equation?
Again...a matter of ethics as much as economics...