Thursday, May 25, 2006

Obesity and Economics...

Two concerning studies in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The first study carried out by researchers at Johns Hopkins University older teenagers (over 14) who lived below the "poverty line" were 50% more likely to be overweight than their more economically well-off peers. The reasons? Skipping breakfast, consuming more sugared drinks, and less physical activity.

The second study also looked at older teenagers below the poverty line, and found that these kids were 50% more likely to be overweight today compared to 30 years ago.

These are disturbing trends that as of now show no signs of turning around. While it's true that healthy choices should not be limited to the privileged, and as a society we need to do a better job of making better alternatives available, we also need to have better education for poorer families, so they have the will to make better choices, not just the ability.


At 5:19 AM, Blogger Flea said...

I'm doing my best. The tone of this post suggests that the primary responsibility for stemming the tide rests with me the pediatrician and with government.

You should've heard me in the office two days ago with my obese family! I was frigging brilliant! But I have no expectation that they will follow up on anything I said.

When they do not is it my fault?


At 10:20 AM, Blogger Catherine at A Healthy Dose said...

It's no surprise at all that poverty leads to obesity. The cheapest foods on the shelves are the least nutritious. Please read my article, "That's Not Funny" at

Please keep up the good work and good writing for good health!

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At 7:35 AM, Blogger GregH said...

Dawn Primarolo, British Public Health Prime Minister, commented, "If we do nothing, 90% of today's children could be overweight or obese by 2050." Shocking figures frighten!

Helping children eat more healthily and control their weight is important in helping to reduce the childhood obesity problem. But it’s only one side of the medal. What about children who spending too much time online or playing games? As for me, I set limits on how much time my child spends online using internet filtering software Ez Internet Timer. It can also block Internet browsers, e-mails, ftp file downloads or messengers such as MSN, Skype according to my daily schedule. And, of cause, I’ll do my best to get my child to be more active. And all it together works!!!

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Billy said...

Has anyone tried homeopathic growth hormone oral spray for child obesity? I hear it's legal for over the counter sales and is very gentle on the system.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Monica said...

I can definitely see the correlation with poverty and obesity rates. It's hard to buy healthy options, especially when they seem to cost more. I am a college student and on several occasions in the past while trying to save some cash, I have caught myself thinking, ohmygod why are these veggies so expensive. I'll just have to pass week. Then I make up for it while cruising down some other aisle with prepackaged frozen sodium injected items which I justify by thinking oh, but it comes out to $1.30 for each thing in the box; that's less than 2 heads of broccoli and I get 3 of them!

I am happy to say I have come far from those days. Broccoli it is!

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