Friday, March 18, 2005

Obesity in Oregon

Oregon is ranked as the 19th fattest state. In 2003, 21% of all adults were considered obese. It looks like these adults are influencing their children. A new report yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine, says the prevalence and severity of obesity are so great, especially in children, that the associated diseases and complications - Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer - are likely to strike people at younger and younger ages.

The report says that for the first time in two centuries parents have a longer life expectancy than their children, and the kid’s life expectancy could be reduced by as much as five years.

    “The report's lead author, Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he considered the report's projections of reduced life expectancy to be "very conservative, and I think the negative effect is probably greater than we have shown."

    - International Herald Tribune

This is kind of scary! Fortunately Oregon is trying to do something about children’s health, they have introduced House Bill 2023, a bill which would make it unlawful to have a vending machine in an elementary school.

The removal of vending machines in school will directly cut down on the amount of junk food these kids can get at school while simultaneously removing unneeded advertising from these children’s lives

Another bill,Senate Bill 228, is being pushed in the senate to require 2 ½ hours of PE each week for elementary kids, and 3 ¾ hours of PE each week for middle school kids.
    Senate Bill 228 “would require physical education in public elementary and middle schools in Oregon. The state has no PE requirements or standards… fewer than half of Oregon's schoolchildren get daily physical education.”

    - The Oregonian
The growing problem of obesity needs to be combated; these two bills are helping out by forming healthy eating and exercising patterns. Unfortunately, these kids do not spend all of their time at school and even if they are eating healthily and exercising, the parents can still mess it up by feeding their children fast food. YOU ARE SLOWLY KILLING YOUR KIDS!

Parents need to get involved with their children and show them how to live and eat healthily. To learn more about obesity and how to combat it go to Obesity is a Problem.


Anonymous said...

You bring up an absolutely great point that cannot be said enough. I actually just finished reading Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation"--a chilling account of the fast food takeover in the country and abroad. A highly recommended read...

Anonymous said...

The film "Supersize Me" is another great informational piece. I think it should be required viewing in all high schools. Dr. Merritt Horning of the Lassen Foundation in the Chico, CA area has worked on these issues for many years with Loma Linda University and has some fantastic research on diet as a cure for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. We really are what we eat!

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