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Victories Against Childhood Obesity Harder to Find Among Poor & Obesity As Disease

Victories Against Childhood Obesity, But Harder to Find Among Poor
American Medical News, Jennifer Lubell, 07/19/2013

(Localities are seeing declining rates, but improvements are uneven among socioeconomic and racial groups.)

Health care professionals said during a July 9 (2013) forum that parts of the nation have shown some promise in reducing childhood obesity rates, but they noted the epidemic continues to affect lower-income children disproportionately.

“Most advances in reducing obesity rates have taken place among white children in affluent communities, with fewer successes seen among African-American, Latino and low-income children. “Frankly, that’s not OK. The benefits of being healthy have to be within the reach of all of our children,” said Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey.

“The good news is coming from places large and small,” Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey said. “It’s coming from rural North Carolina, New York City and Philadelphia.” (One of the smart things Philadelphia did is get rid of sodas and fries in school lunches.  That has made a significant difference)

The reason this is so important to note and is such good news is because Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of the 10 largest U.S. cities.  a) What changes are working in Philadelphia?

b) Why is the childhood obesity rate coming down?

c) This success has to be a joint committed effort by parents, physicians, schools and the broader community. 

d) What are the access issues to healthy food, the ability to exercise, and other infrastructure problems?

e) Is enough effort being devoted to public health education? Are these efforts tied to contact points that parent use on a regular basis?

f)  Do parents understand the long term dangers of childhood obesity?

g) Do parents know that obesity is a disease?  Yes, on July 1, 2013, the American Medical Association clarified obesity as a disease.”

There are many value-based questions which can be addressed in the information presented; one such question might be -- do adults have the right to act irresponsibly in ways that damage the health and well-being of children?

“Obesity has the characteristic signs, symptoms and morbidities that qualify it as a disease,” said Jeffrey I. Mechanick, MD, president of the American Assn. of Clinical Endocrinologists. Obesity is a Disease

Read much more about Childhood Obesity in the article linked below:

We at OneWorld remind readers that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.  Type 11 diabetes is one of the side effects of obesity; diabetes has severe and multiple negative long-term effects on the body.    We love ourselves and our children most effectively when we are proactive about health and well-being.  Doing all that we can to prevent and reduce childhood obesity is a loving, caring and sensible thing to do.

N'Zinga Shani, program producer

OneWorld Progressive Institute


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