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Obesity in Boys Up 29 Percent: Blame the Internet?

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Warman also points out that girls being more “self-conscious about their bodies” may be a reason the obesity rate is not as high among them. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, hones in on how boys and young men are prime targets for fast-food marketing:

“Marketers encourage boys and young men to eat and drink as much as they can as part of macho lifestyles. The bigger the portions, the more the calories, and the bigger the person.”

Complicating the treatment of childhood obesity is that children, being children, have not finished growing so “the goal of any program may be to help them grow into a healthier weight rather than to actually lose pounds.” A successful program involves the child’s family “as a whole, changing what everybody eats and how much time they are all active, not sitting in front of a computer screen or television,” the New York Times underscores.

Wellpoint, one of the US’s largest health insurers, is seeking to train pediatricians and link them to dieticians; the health plan covers four such visits to doctors and four to dieticians. United Health has piloted a program that includes a partnership with the YMCA in Rhode Island and is meant to be a “friendlier, more cost-effective alternative” than hospital treatment.

As the New York Times quotes the chief medical officer for WellPoint, Dr. Samuel R. Nussbaum: “If this were easy, if there were clear outcomes for success, we would be investing in these.” The search for programs to help curb obesity in children is just starting and, given the latest figures from the CDC, not a moment too late.

Related Care2 Coverage

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8:14AM PST on Dec 20, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

11:54PM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

I don't understand how someone could let their child become very overweight or obese. If someone is starving their child it is considered cruelty and neglect yet if someone over feeds their child and lets them sit around and not exercise it is not considered cruelty and neglect!? Either way you are killing your child!

3:23AM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Non è colpa di internet ma di tutte quelle schifezze che mangiano

6:38AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

I don't think the internet is at fault here....

5:19PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Thanks for the post.

9:44PM PST on Feb 24, 2012

I want internet that buys groceries,, thank you for article.

5:02PM PST on Feb 12, 2012


12:55AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

Andrew, you're not telling anyone anything we don't know. There are other factors at times also, such as if you have relatives that are also overweight, if you have a disability or not, etc.

4:08AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Thanks for the article.

8:08AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

The obesity increase is related to food is a natural drug for many children and adults. Children are just as susceptible to using food as a drug. Also psychological suffering creates more apathy for children and adults. This creates less activity and adds to the problem. The myth of genetics in school creates learned helplessness for children and adults. This can easily lead to many escapes for Males to more outside measures such as sports/video games to gain feelings of love, honor, respect from others (boys must generate love, honor -Unlike girls who receive love/honor for being girls, boys must earn this in some way or be left out). I feel boys who may feel learned helplessness may both turn to video games and food as easy drugs for both immediate esteem and food for psychological suffering. Boys are more prone to escape due to far fewer supports and more aggression allowed upon them by parents, peers, teachers, and others. My learning theory shows how layers mental frictions accumulate, more so from differential treatment, thus affecting boys more than girls.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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