Tag Archives: childhood obesity

When Did We Let Digital Fat-Shaming be OK?

Imagine a person just standing there minding his or her own business, and that person happens to be fat. If you place a clever caption underneath of the photo pointing out just how fat that person is and suddenly, somehow it becomes funny, right? Wrong. I’m sure you’ve these photos floating around on the interwebs. This is what is referred to as fat-shaming.

fat shaming

Personally, I have never found any photos exploiting overweight individuals as a “joke” to be funny at all. Being overweight in itself is not funny. And I have to wonder why this type of discrimination and bullying is still so acceptable in our culture. Even in Hollywood, consider how much negative attention a celebrity gets when they gain weight. Their image is shown on the cover of a magazine with a caption stating something about how fat they’ve gotten, and we’ve allowed that to be acceptable!

I gained a great deal of weight in my early teenage years and in high school, I was somewhere over 200 pounds. My saving grace was that I was funny and well-liked, so I didn’t become the target of much bullying (and most people would never have made fun of me to my face). I thank my lucky stars that things like Facebook and Twitter (heck, even cell phones or texting!) didn’t exist back then, because it’s so much easier to bully someone when you’re sitting behind a computer. (more…)

Anonymous Mom Brazenly Shames Trick or Treaters with Obesity Letter in Lieu of Halloween Candy

There’s this mom in Fargo, North Dakota who is choosing to remain anonymous while handing out an “obesity letter” to trick or treaters tomorrow night. While I love the idea of rallying parents to go candy free on Halloween, I think her approach and tactics are way out of line.

Found via Twitter, here is a copy of the letter “anony-mom” is distributing in lieu of candy on Halloween.

fargo mom obesity letter halloween
In a radio interview, she said the purpose is to “send a message to the parents of the kids that are really overweight.” Tweet us – What do you think?

The CDC cites one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, with 70 percent of youth presenting at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. So the likelihood of a child who is definitively overweight receiving this letter is high. But is it this woman’s place to call it out?

How do we know if she’s even qualified to make such blind assessments? She won’t sign the letter, nor reveal her identity (which is a whole other thing I take issue with), so we can’t look in to her background, education, or resume. We’re going to wager a guess that she’s not a dietitian, doctor, or related profession.

I’m kind of obsessed with both good health and proper English, so I don’t know if I’m more irritated by her brazen attempt to shame a bunch of neighborhood kids or her complete lack of editing to catch the errant typos, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. (more…)

Peyton and LeBron Earn Big Bucks Endorsing Junk Food for Kids

Athletes are paid enormous salaries, and make even more, millions more in fact, in endorsement deals. It’s logical that many of the endorsements are with athlete-friendly brands, like David Beckham for Adidas or the bevy of pro and Olympic athletes who appear in Subway commercials. It makes sense, athletes supporting exercise gear and healthy food choices.

peyton manning


Michelle Obama Encourages us All to Drink Up!

Three years ago, Michelle Obama announced that her platform as first lady would be ending childhood obesity. She launched the Let’s Move! campaign in 2010 in order to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses and parents in an effort to solve the problem of childhood obesity. It is her ambitious goal to solve the epidemic within a generation. We think it’s great that Mrs. Obama has put such an important issue in focus, and that Let’s Move! keeps adapting.


Since Let’s Move! started, Mrs. Obama has asked us to plant gardens, get up a dance and cut calories. She has even called on the U.S. military to set a good, healthy example for the rest of Americans. Her next step in evolving and adding to her quest against childhood obesity is asking people to drink more water. This new initiative, called Drink Up, urges Americans to drink water in the place of other beverages they consume. The first lady even “stole” the TODAY show anchors’ coffee and replaced it with water during an appearance last week.


JAM Event Aims to Stop Childhood Obesity in 60 Seconds

It’s amazing what can happen in just a minute.

In fact, on September 26, when millions of kids participate in the JAM Challenge, 60 seconds is all they’ll need to break a world record. In an effort to quell childhood obesity, two organizations—Heal-E-tips and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation—have teamed up for the second annual Just-A-Minute Challenge. The program intends to encourage children across the U.S. to get active everyday, even if it’s just a minute.

With the state of childhood obesity reaching epidemic proportions, 60 seconds of movement could make a big difference. According to the CDC, more than one-third of children and adolescents in America are obese. In 1980, only 10 percent of our young people were overweight or obese. Statistically, children who are obese tend to stay obese throughout their lives, and are at great risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and low self-esteem.

The JAM World Record event aims to dramatically reduce those astonishing numbers. In 2012, 1.3 million children from 17,000 schools participated in the event, and this year the goal is 3 million. Exercise guru Patricia Friberg will be the JAM fitness leader for the nationwide event, and has released a video with NFL running back C.J. Spiller. It’s good to see the NFL getting involved in the childhood obesity fight, especially after the beastly burgers they endorsed last month.


Teens with History of Obesity at Higher Risk for Eating Disorders

An alarming new trend has come to light following the release of an article in the October issue of Pediatrics. According to researchers from the Mayo Clinic, teens who have a history of obesity of being overweight are at a higher risk of developing eating disorders as they undergo treatment for their weight problems.

weight loss

The study looked at two cases where teens were brought to their doctors by concerned parents. Though the teens’ symptoms matched those of eating disorders, the doctors were hesitant to diagnose the teens with disordered eating. Instead, both were originally diagnosed with much rarer conditions. The study further states that this may have happened due to the fact that the teens were at healthy Body Mass Indices (BMI).


The Aaron Rodgers Burger – Nobody Should Tackle This Gut Bomb

The National Football League, the most profitable and popular professional sports league in America, kicks off regular season play in less than a week. Six years ago, the NFL put its massive appeal to good use, founding the Play 60 program to tackle childhood obesity and encourage a more active generation of children. Most NFL media coverage is centered around head injuries, Fantasy Football, murder charges and twitter rants, but the league continues to make strides fighting the obesity epidemic with national activities for kids. However, when a few members of the Green Bay Packers had the opportunity to design their own hamburger recipes to be sold at Curly’s Pub in Lambeau field on game days, they did not have health on the brain and undermined the efforts of Play 60.

A Rodgers Burger

While Play 60 aims to get children to play for 60 minutes a day, anyone who eats the Aaron Rodgers burger will need to play for 120 minutes after they wake up from their food coma. The Aaron Rodgers burger does not come with an artery brush, but it should. Here’s what you get: bacon, swiss and havarti cheese, avocado, pickles, jalapeno, onion rings, mayo, ranch, and PEANUT BUTTER—all with a side of fresh Wisconsin cheese curds. Just like mom used to make—if she hated you. Peanut butter is a trending burger topping, but next to ranch, mayo, and avocado, it seems like a flavor rainbow from hell. (more…)

Obesity Causes 18 Percent of U.S. Deaths According to New Study

Children born today enter a world where more than one-third of all adults in the United States are obese. They also face the prospect of being part of the one-fifth of American children who are obese. These risks of obesity significantly increase mortality rates. According to a new study by researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Columbia University, obesity is responsible for 18 percent of deaths in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s possible that number will continue to grow if obesity rates follow the trend they’re on now. They have more than doubled since 1980.

obesity risks

The study found that the problem isn’t exclusive to older individuals, but rather people from younger generations who, as they age, have a greater chance of developing obesity-related health problems. “Obesity is unhealthy at any age, but as obese individuals grow older, they are more likely to experience serious health complications of obesity, including premature death,” said Ryan Masters, Ph.D, study author and researcher at Columbia in an interview with HealthlineNews. Masters fears that while the results of the study are worrying, they could actually be worse than they appear. He feels as obese individuals age and encounter health problems; they are less likely to participate in studies like the one conducted at Columbia. This can make the results skew healthier, an error he tried to correct in the results to allow for the discrepancy.


Healthy School Lunch Reform is Fighting Childhood Obesity, Tackling TV is Next Step

A team of cardiologists at the University of Michigan has found that among obese middle schoolers, 62 percent watched two or more hours of TV a day. The data suggests that when “screen time” replaces physical activity, obesity is likely to ensue. When you pair this decreased activity with the calorie-rich, fat-laden lunches served in schools, you have a full on epidemic.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was meant to provide healthier food for the national school lunch program, which took effect last year. It’s certainly a step in the right direction, but still far from perfect. As for the other side of the coin, it’s ultimately up to parents to tackle the TV problem. The life-long effects of poor dietary and activity habits can lead obesity, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

Boy in Cafeteria Line

Our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD, has been an ardent supporter of the school lunch overhaul, and told us that for many kids, half of a child’s calorie intake comes from school lunch, and those calories were 34 percent fat.

“French fries and other potato products accounted for a disproportionate number of the vegetables on kids’ trays,” she said. “But improving school lunches is only one part of the obesity problem. Parents at home have a far greater impact.”


New Rules Will Remove Junk Foods from Schools by July 2014

The days of going through the lunch line at school and picking every greasy, cheesy, fatty option are soon coming to an end. The Department of Agriculture has outlined new regulations for the kinds of foods that can be sold to kids at school. For the first time, the government is tackling the content of “a la carte” lines, vending machines, snack bars and other sources of food regularly available on school campuses. According to Registered Dietitian Mary Hartley, “the policy would increase student exposure to healthier foods and decrease exposure to less healthy foods.”

kids eating lunch

Previously unregulated, the “a la carte” lines and similar non- standard lunch line options provided kids access to foods like nachos, pizza, chocolate sandwich cookies, and other unhealthy treats. Now under the new guidelines those foods will be replaced with more healthful options like granola bars and yogurt. The new regulations also outline a difference in the beverages that can be sold in schools. Elementary and middle schools will only sell water, carbonated water, low fat and fat-free milk and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices. Sodas and sports drinks that contain 60 calories or less will be made available in high schools. Though the changes don’t have to be in effect until July 1, 2014, several schools will start implementing them in the upcoming school year. It has been found that schools with this type of reform already in place have seen little to loss of revenue from food sales.