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A Weighty Matter: Heavy Kids

Article / Review by on February 28, 2012 – 10:21 pmNo Comments

A Weighty Matter: Heavy Kids

A Weighty Matter: Heavy KidsDespite the inescapable buzz around America’s “obesity epidemic,” research has shown that too few parents accurately appreciate extra pounds on their own kids.

What’s more, our “screen society” – rife with iPads, Nintendo, HDTVs – has made it all too easy for youngsters to live their lives sitting down.

And to add one more ingredient to this toxic mix, consider kids’ media. TV and web commercials have found a surefire formula from promoting “junk food” – just show cool kids and cartoon characters happily noshing on the questionable eats. (Don’t believe it? Name the last time you saw a cartoon character – besides Bugs Bunny – happily munching on a vegetable.)

As these forces collide, what does it mean for the nation’s youth? For one thing, a growing burden on their developing hearts. Last week, the White House Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Health drew dozens of experts from the national health care community – including pediatric obesity expert Dr. Stephen Cook – to discuss legislation, regulations and initiatives that the Administration  is implementing to help improve our nation’s heart health.

Since you, our blog readers couldn’t attend, we want to loop you into the conversation by sharing some of our work with the Greater Rochester Obesity Collaborative (which has been selected as a national model for obesity prevention and treatment), plus results from two studies Dr. Cook recently was involved in (which point out why many parents don’t realize their children are obese, as well as how obesity rates have mushroomed over the past three decades).

In the clip below, you also can hear Dr. Cook discuss how modern media messaging is shaping our kids’ food preferences.


*  The above story is adapted from materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center


University of Rochester Medical Center

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