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We Are Killing the Kids

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Obesity

Childhood obesity is often linked to early onset of Type 2 diabetes, but even those children who manage to avoid it can be hit with other weight-related health problems. These include some cancers (especially uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum and prostate), high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, depression, skin problems, infertility and osteoarthritis.

Michelle Obama focused on childhood obesity early in her tenure as First Lady. She challenged the food and beverage industries to reduce the excess sugar and salt in their products. She might as well have thrown a party for them, for all the support she received.

Industry’s response was to step up lobbying efforts. A new report from Reuters details just how effective they were.

Lobbying records analyzed by Reuters reveal that the industries more than doubled their spending in Washington during the past three years. In the process, they largely dominated policymaking — pledging voluntary action while defeating government proposals aimed at changing the nation’s diet, dozens of interviews show.

The Reuters report points out the Center for Science in the Public Interest spent a grand total of $70,000 lobbying for healthier food last year. CSPI is one of the most effective consumer-interest organizations in the States, but their $70,000 represents what those who oppose stricter guidelines spend every 13 hours.

Congress did not support the First Lady. Neither did the White House. When Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) chided the White House for going “wobbly in the knees,” senior policy advisor and assistant chef Sam Kass responded, “We are incredibly proud of the commitments that many food companies have made…”

Right, and I have a bridge to sell you, Mr. Kass. Voluntary commitments have never been more than public relations proclamations for an industry that places profits over the health of people or the planet.

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Photo 1 from tgolf_69 via Flickr Creative Commons; photos 2 and 3: Thinkstock

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54 comments

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5:58AM PST on Nov 26, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

7:56AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

very sad

11:51AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Parents, teach your kids HEALTHY eating. it is NOT hard. My son RARELY gets sweets. You aren't the "bad guy" for occasionally saying "no" to your kids. It is your job. You are only opening the door to bad health and premature death by allowing them to eat when and what they want. Grow a spine and FIX THIS

10:11AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Grazie dell'articolo.

6:23PM PDT on May 7, 2012

Some things take a community such as clean air legislation, GMO labeling, keeping arsenic and other toxic chemicals out of our food and clothing including organic, and making sure parents have the right to not vaccinate their kids without getting put in jail or having their kids taken away from them.

1:53PM PDT on May 7, 2012

I watch over my own childrens health. That is the job of the parents NOT the community.

12:00PM PDT on May 6, 2012

I don't understand parents who allow their kids to drink soda or fruit drinks just to name 2 things loaded with sugar. It's all about the diet and feeding nutritious meals to all family members.

6:27AM PDT on May 6, 2012

Why the increase in diabetes; cancers; and other afflictions such as Alzheimers; ADHD just to mention a couple? The cause lies in fast food, sodas and junk food [some do call it comfort food] and a lack of excercise. Look at the increase in obesity. I'm not saying the prior decades were any better than they are today. We didn't have the populations coagulated in cities like we do today. We didn't have the number of automobiles; trucks; airplanes and other modes of travel like today. We have had eighty years of pollution in many forms that are slowly killing us off. Then there's the Big Corporations who don't seem to care as long as the indentured wage slaves produce at whatever costs to themselves and profit is maximized in the shortest term. Don't kid yourself about unions either. They are a business and only those at the top levels see the maximum profits and benefits.
It's all bread and circus to those at the top. Methinks our problems have increased due to deliberate creation of such conditions. It's time for the sheep to wake up and get a bellewether.

2:01AM PDT on May 6, 2012

Thanks for the info

11:02PM PDT on May 5, 2012

Actually Jane, You are incorrect and brainwashed. If you look at aboriginal diet, especially ones of first nations, you will see that fat and meat are core to the diet when diabetes was unheard of. The problem IS (and you ARE correct in this) sugar - but also grains, which turn to sugar in the blood - no matter how "high fiber" the grains are. Humans are not meant to eat fruit year around, or sugar or grains. A high meat and fat diet is actually what humans have evolved on over millions of years. Time to get back to this diet.

And Jonanthan - human instinct is a fail? Really? If that were so, then aboriginal people would have the same diseases as found in our modern society - heart disease, cancer and diabetes - they did not. The human instinct knows what it needs - we have just replaced those natural instinctual desires with very poor substitutes.

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