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Childhood Obesity
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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In this episode:

Children in America are three times more likely to be obese than they were 20 years ago


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48:55 minutes (23.49 MB)
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In the last twenty years, the number of obese children between the ages of 6-11 has tripled in the United States.   For teenagers, those numbers are even worse.  Public health officials are calling this an epidemic and warning that if the pattern continues, a startling new trend could emerge: children not out living their parents.

Beyond lowered self esteem, overweight kids face serious health risks that are likely to follow them into adulthood, problems that tax not only their bodies, but the entire healthcare system.  In Connecticut, an estimated $856 million dollars are spent each year on adult health problems attributable to obesity.  The state has attempted to address the problem in recent years, with legislation aimed at in-school junk food, but that's only part of the problem. 

Today on Where We Live, we'll talk about the messages kids get about food and the hurdles families face as they try to make healthy decisions. 

You can join the Conversation!  What can parents do to keep kids from being overweight?  How much blame can be placed on marketers pushing fast food and cheap calories?  And what questions do you have about the cause of this epidemic?

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Child Obesity

The cause of child obesity, and too many other "out of control" behaviors is poor parenting.

Parents begin presenting their children with choices e.g. "What would you like? "What do you want? etc. before their children have the knowlege, values, understanding or experience to decide what is in their best interest.  We seem not to know, or are unwilling to do, what is necessary to ensure our children are competent and caring adults

Far too many parents don't understand or abdicate their parenting responsibilities!  The result is children, inmature teenagers and baby-adults who believe "It's all about me."

Our society is left the legacy of enormous health costs, overflowing prisons, and broken families.

Email from Gary in Wethersfield

When you mention the expense of vegetables, you should also discuss our governmental subsidy of high fructose corn syrup and meat and the lack of subsidy on vegetables.

Also, How about the approach of looking at the type of food intake as an addiction? As I see it, at some point it is no longer a matter of nurture but becoming a matter of nature. 

email from Marie in Killingworth

Just wondered if you could talk about the emotional distress that happens when a child is obese (social alienation, low grades, depression...etc.)

email from Alicia in Hartford

My nutrition teacher gave me the best advice - stay out of the middle aisles of the grocery store. Try to just shop the perimeter.  Also, throw away the TV and kick your kids outside! If they are exercising at least an hour a day, it won't matter if they eat too much spaghetti for dinner.