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Obesity Epidemic

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OPINION
July 14, 2013
Re "Fitness is on rise - but so is obesity," July 11 When will we ever figure out that a direct cause of our nation's obesity crisis is that we no longer require students to learn food preparation and nutrition or to take a full program of physical education in our schools? Academics without real-world applications only prepare students to take standardized tests. The "new" Common Core curriculum standards do not include food preparation and nutrition, child development and physical education.
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SCIENCE
August 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new research warns. Some 18.2% of premature deaths in the United States between 1986 and 2006 were associated with excess body mass, according to a team of sociologists led by a Columbia University demographer. That estimate, published online Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is far higher than the 5% toll widely cited by researchers.
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NEWS
October 16, 2010
Researchers have identified another cause of the American obesity epidemic – too many of us don’t realize that we’re overweight. In fact, the doctors and other experts who published this hypothesis this week in Archives of Internal Medicine have a clinical name for this problem: body size misperception. And about 8% of adults in Dallas have it, according to their study. The primary symptom is that when shown pictures of nine figures – ranging from very thin to morbidly obese – these adults selected an “ideal body size” that was the same or bigger than the image they thought best reflected their own body size.
SCIENCE
August 6, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Obesity among low-income preschool-age children has declined slightly in many states, including California, providing some evidence that the battle against childhood obesity may finally be turning, according to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of obese children among low-income 2- to 4-year-olds from California dropped from 17.3% to 16.8% between 2008 and 2011, and declined in 18 other U.S. states or territories. Obesity prevalence increased in only three states, according to a study summarizing the findings.
NEWS
May 21, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
"We're losing the war against obesity in the U.S.," says chef Jamie Oliver. "Our kids are growing up overweight and malnourished from a diet of processed foods, and today's children will be the first generation ever to live shorter lives than their parents. " About 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 6 children are obese, according the Centers for Disease Control , and such obesity-related diseases as Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer have become leading causes of death in our country.
HEALTH
December 26, 2011
Shari Roan's profile of Louisiana State University fitness and nutrition expert Melinda Sothern was excellent ["The Birth of Obesity," Dec. 19]. Sothern postulates that the obesity epidemic may have roots in the 1950s because "a generation of young women … smoked, spurned breast-feeding, and restricted their weight during numerous, closely spaced pregnancies. " We know that there is great work being done around the nation to combat this "obesity trinity. " Sothern believes we can reverse the epidemic and so do I. As a breast-feeding advocate, I support the surgeon general's call to reduce the barriers to breast-feeding.
HEALTH
December 4, 2006 | Linda Bacon, Special to The Times
The holidays are upon us, presenting wonderful opportunity to celebrate and enjoy good food. No doubt many of us will heartily indulge ... and feel the guilt. The guilt is hard to avoid. Hardly a day goes by without the media trumpeting obesity fears: 65% of us are overweight or obese, we're gaining weight at unprecedented rates, we don't know how to eat, we're not exercising enough, we're the first generation that's going to die younger than our parents.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2005 | Jim Rossi, Special to The Times
Fat Politics The Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic J. Eric Oliver Oxford University Press: 228 pp., $28 * PIMA Indians living in southern Arizona today are among the heaviest people in the world. The average Pima woman weighs 200 pounds; men weigh more. Before the 1940s, most Pima sported lean, muscular physiques.
SCIENCE
August 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new research warns. Some 18.2% of premature deaths in the United States between 1986 and 2006 were associated with excess body mass, according to a team of sociologists led by a Columbia University demographer. That estimate, published online Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is far higher than the 5% toll widely cited by researchers.
NATIONAL
July 30, 2013 | By Tina Susman
Mayor Michael Bloomberg suffered another setback Tuesday in his quest to limit the size of sugary drinks being sold in New York when a court upheld an earlier judge's invalidation of the law, but the city said it will keep fighting to enforce the rule. “Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic,” Bloomberg said after a state appellate court unanimously ruled that his ban on sugary sodas of more than 16 ounces was a violation of executive powers.
NATIONAL
July 30, 2013 | By Tina Susman
Mayor Michael Bloomberg suffered another setback Tuesday in his quest to limit the size of sugary drinks being sold in New York when a court upheld an earlier judge's invalidation of the law, but the city said it will keep fighting to enforce the rule. “Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic,” Bloomberg said after a state appellate court unanimously ruled that his ban on sugary sodas of more than 16 ounces was a violation of executive powers.
OPINION
July 14, 2013
Re "Fitness is on rise - but so is obesity," July 11 When will we ever figure out that a direct cause of our nation's obesity crisis is that we no longer require students to learn food preparation and nutrition or to take a full program of physical education in our schools? Academics without real-world applications only prepare students to take standardized tests. The "new" Common Core curriculum standards do not include food preparation and nutrition, child development and physical education.
OPINION
June 23, 2013
Re "A problem with obesity advice," Letters, June 21 This letter perpetuates the stereotype that overweight people are just gluttons with no self-control. In reality, obesity is a complex issue, involving biological, physiological and psychological factors. That is why it deserves the American Medical Assn.'s classification as a disease. If it were as simple as following "common-sense medical advice" (which amounts to "eat less, exercise more"), there would be no obesity epidemic.
NEWS
February 7, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Chain restaurants have been nudged and cajoled for years to ditch mammoth portion sizes and high-calorie choices. But perhaps the best motivation to lower-calorie, more healthful menu items is here: profit. A report released Thursday calls lower-calorie menu choices “just good business.” “We found that those restaurant chains that were growing their lower-calorie items, they demonstrated business advantages,” Hank Cardello, lead author of the report from the think tank Hudson Institute, said Thursday at a news conference to discuss the report.
NEWS
September 6, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots blog
Obesity among Philadelphia's nearly 900,000 schoolchildren has ticked downward slightly, a new study says, suggesting that efforts to reverse the rising tide of fat among the nation's children are paying off. In 2009-2010, 20.5% of the Philly's kids weighed in as obese, and 7.9% were considered "severely obese. " Writing in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, a team of Philadelphia public health officials and researchers called those figures "unacceptably high. " But they noted that the latest statistics are down from measures taken in 2006-2007, when 21.5% of Philadelphia's schoolchildren were obese and 8.5% were severely obese.
NEWS
June 27, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
As obesity rates increase, so too do obesity-related health problems and associated costs. Still, a federal health advisory panel has formally recommended additional care in the form of intensive counseling. Commenting on the panel's decision, my colleague Paul Whitefield argues that we can't afford it. "The solution?" he writes . "It's not government-approved and insurance-paid-for counseling. It's a fat tax. " He continues: You want to be obese? Fine. Keep chowing down, big guy or gal. Just don't expect those who pursue sensible, healthful choices to pay for you. Instead, you're gonna pay a tax on all that extra weight, which will help offset the healthcare costs you're sure to incur.
OPINION
May 11, 2012
Re "No end in sight to obesity epidemic," May 8 Of course there is no end in sight to the obesity epidemic. If the government can hold a conference that might suggest that Americans consume less junk food, then what makes us believe that the government wouldn't stop there and would suggest that Americans eat more broccoli? The Supreme Court has already given its lecture that our vegetable-averse Founding Fathers have hidden in the Constitution a prohibition to a broccoli mandate, even though one would improve citizens' health.
BUSINESS
November 18, 2001
To say that Warner Bros. has shown "restraint" on "Harry Potter" promotions ["Warner Marketing 'Potter' With Care," Nov. 5] by licensing "only" 87 tie-in opportunities allows industry spin to obscure the reality of one of the most massive marketing extravaganzas ever. The reality is an avalanche of "Potter" products, from lunch boxes and figurines to trading cards and toothpaste. And then, of course, there is the big one: Coca-Cola's $150-million global promotional deal that is using "Harry Potter" to get kids to drink more of its "liquid candy"--exactly what we don't need in the midst of an obesity epidemic.
BUSINESS
June 6, 2012 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co., acknowledging the powerful role that television can play in influencing children's behavior, announced that it has instituted a junk-food advertising ban on programs for kids. Along with its current healthful-foods initiative in its theme parks, Disney will begin imposing strict new standards for food and beverage advertising on its boy-centric network Disney XD, during Saturday morning shows on Disney-owned ABC television stations, on Radio Disney and online. Disney Channel and Disney Junior, which are not ad-supported but receive brand sponsorships, also would be covered under the nutrition guidelines.
NEWS
May 21, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
"We're losing the war against obesity in the U.S.," says chef Jamie Oliver. "Our kids are growing up overweight and malnourished from a diet of processed foods, and today's children will be the first generation ever to live shorter lives than their parents. " About 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 6 children are obese, according the Centers for Disease Control , and such obesity-related diseases as Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer have become leading causes of death in our country.
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