Childhood obesity is getting national attention as a public health crisis. Native American children have the highest prevalence of obesity. Blacks and Mexican-Americans had rates higher than whites. Low-SES adolescent girls have much higher prevalence than higher-SES counterparts especially white adolescent girls. The disparities in the prevalence of obesity may be the result of the interaction between genetic and environmental factors with the latter playing a key role in fueling the obesity epidemic.
The upward trends in obesity and extreme obesity may turn downward slightly from 2003 to 2010 among preschool-aged children living in low-income families according to a research letter published in this week's JAMA by Pan et al. (CDC) using data from the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System which includes almost 50% of children eligible for federally funded maternal and child health and nutrition programs. In the accompanying viewpoint, Dr. Ludwig and others called for the restructuring of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as the Food Stamp Program to focus on nutritional quality of food purchased/consumed by SNAP recipients. It has to start with a more systematic approach to data collection by the USDA and collaboration with DHHS.
We need national to grassroot level strategies to cut back on sugary drink consumption. Find out more about the unprecedented marketing of sugary drinks to youth from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale. Past proposals included penny-per-oz taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks and NYC's soda ban (prohibits sugary soft drinks larger than 16 ounces (473 ml) from being sold in restaurants, movie theaters and food carts). School, home, public education and social marketing do not seem to work?
"I wish to do something Great and Wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were Great and Wonderful"