Beverage Companies Aggressively Market Unhealthy Drinks to Youth
A just-released report from our friends at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity highlighting how beverage companies aggressively market sugary drinks to young people was alloverthenews this week. Rudd’s groundbreaking Sugary Drink FACTS finds that sugary drinks are the No. 1 source of calories in teens’ diets. But despite pledges by the beverage industry to market fewer unhealthy beverages to children, there is more—not less—advertising for sugary drinks overall.
After reading the report, I decided to pledge to significantly reduce my soda intake.
First Lady Promotes “Let’s Move! Child Care” in Louisiana
First Lady Michelle Obama brought her childhood obesity initiative to a New Orleans daycare center this week, where she read toddlers a book about green peas and led them in exercise, the Associated Press reports. Obama’s childcare push urges daycare centers to provide healthy meals; beverages and snacks for children; limit their screen time; make sure they exercise and take steps to support breastfeeding mothers.
NYT Highlights the Congressional Lunch Fight…
The old gray lady looked at the ongoing battle in Congress over proposed changes to the school lunch program. The New York Times reports that proposed rule changes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in schools and, in the process, reduce childhood obesity. But lobbyists representing a variety of interest groups are asking Members of Congress to stop some of the proposed changes from taking effect.
People who are genetically predisposed to becoming obese can counter the influence of their genes with moderate amounts of exercise, Time reports. A new study from the United Kingdom found that people with the “obesity gene” who got 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise five days a week — doing things such as walking the dog or tending a garden — were less likely to pack on extra pounds.
Childhood Obesity, Sleep Apnea and Cognitive Problems Linked
A new study finds that the conditions of obesity, sleep apnea and learning difficulties interact with one another and make each problem worse, ABC News reports. Researchers at University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital and Pritzker School of Medicine found that “cognitive functioning in children is adversely affected by frequent health-related problems, such as obesity and sleep-disordered breathing.” In the clip below, Dr. Shelby Harris, director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center, explains on Good Morning America how to help kids suffering from these problems.
Obesity Now a Part of Child Custody Battles
Another consequence of the childhood obesity epidemic: Some divorcing parents are using it in court. Fox News reports that some moms and dads in custody lawsuits are bringing up their child’s obesity in court in an attempt to “persuade judges that their kids are getting less-than-optimal care in the hands of ex- and soon-to-be-ex-spouses.”
This Valentine's Day, instead of chocolates, I'm hoping you will help me send Valentines to Smart Snacks Sweethearts—people doing outstanding work to make sure that all snacks in schools are healthy ones.