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Former President Clinton Sounds the Alarm About the Dangers of Childhood Obesity

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:10pm

It's great to see a high profile-person speak bluntly about the crisis of childhood obesity in America, and in a speech before the National School Boards Association in San Francisco, Bill Clinton did just that.

"We are playing Russian roulette with our kids' future," Clinton declared to the gathering, according to journalist Thomas Peele's story in the San Jose Mercury News.

The former president warned that "America's obesity epidemic threatens to destroy the health care system, the economy and the nation's future," Peele reported.

Thankfully, Clinton cited sugar as a major culprit in America's obesity epidemic in his speech. He also pointed to trans fats, ever-increasing portion sizes and economic pressures that lead families to make less-than-optimal nutritional choices.

Clinton urged school boards to make good nutrition a top priority, and he used the devastating example of a woman he met in Biloxi, Mississippi to illustrate what might happen to many American kids if responsible adults don't act now.

The woman, whom Clinton estimated couldn't have been more than 35, is obese, wheelchair bound, and had her right leg amputated due to her diabetes, according to Peele's story in the San Jose Mercury News.

As you may already know, Clinton has been actively trying to fight the childhood obesity epidemic since May 2005, when the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association teamed up to create the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (who, by the way, wrote a glowing endorsement for Connie's book SUGAR SHOCK!), is the Alliance's co-chairman. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which just pledged over $500 million to combat the obesity problem, awarded the Alliance for a Healthier Generation an $8 million grant in support of its Healthy Schools Programs, according to Clinton's foundation website.

Clinton delivered a message that cannot be repeated and amplified enough: Childhood obesity will destroy the health and lives of countless kids if we don't do something about it. Kudos to him for being on the forefront of this issue, and let's hope he can influence others to take action.

From Jennifer Moore

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