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Fixin' Healthcare

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Up And At 'Em

Twice as many children and almost three times as many teens are overweight today as compared to 20 years ago. Overweight young people are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults.and excess body weight is a risk for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The search for causes of excess body weight in children has established linkage between watching more television and increased risk for overweight. This has been attributed to the children being more sedentary. A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health and Children's Hospital in Boston shows that children spending more time watching television also eat more of the calorie-dense and low nutrient food advertised on the shows they are watching (April 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine).

Food marketing that targets children and physical inactivity are two social issues that need grassroots public attention. After-school programs that keep kids active and away from television could work. An active response that is positive more likely would be successful with kids than negative preaching or bullying.

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