Monday, April 7, 2014

U.S. childhood obesity rates have increased since 1999

(Reuters Health) - U.S. childhood obesity rates have increased over the past 14 years, according to a study published on Monday, casting doubt on a recent analysis by government health researchers that found a sharp drop in preschool obesity rates over the past decade.

The good news, announced in February by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), received widespread media coverage and prompted First Lady Michelle Obama to say she was "thrilled at the progress we've made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans.

The new study, published online in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, used the same data source as the CDC, but analyzed obesity rates over a different timeframe. It found increases in obesity for children age 2 to 19, and a marked rise in the percentage who were severely obese.  [Continue reading ...]

Even in Newark - ranked as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the East - schools are anything but safely accessible by bike. The only entrance to the Newark Charter School is in a right turn-only lane on Elkton Road, just west of this intersection, and Newark High School doesn't even have a bike rack.

As long as we continue funding and building infrastructure exclusively suited to automobiles, it should come as no surprise that our children are getting fatter. Who'd a thunk it?

Livable communities like this one - now lost in a geography of nowhere - actually prompted children and adults to be active, to engage in outdoor activities, to navigate their entire town by foot or bike without fear of becoming roadkill. Parents rarely had to drive their kids anywhere. What on Earth happened?

“A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after”

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