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Childhood Obesity May Hit50 Percent in Four Years

Posted Sep 13 2008 7:28pm

The roads to Los Angeles are choked with movie ads. Not only are there billboards lining the highways, but buses, benches and even buildings are used to advertise the latest release.

After a few years of zaftig women, this year Angelinos are being assaulted with advertisements of ultra thin girls. Super-flat bellies, narrower hips and noticeably petite breasts are the order of the day.

I suppose the change in advertising was overdue. The more full-figured women were probably intended to attract aging Baby Boomers instead of 14-year-old boys. Except it didn’t work. The movie industry went into a slump.

So sexy svelte is back in. It makes sense. As my wife said, “Who wants to be reminded how heavy we’ve become?”

Escapism it is, even as childhood obesity in North and South America is expected to approach a whopping 50 percent in the next FOUR years, reports The Associated Times via The Washington Post. One-third of America’s children are overweight or obese today.

It’s almost as bad in the European Union, where about 38 percent of children are expected to be overweight by 2010. In Spain 41.4 percent of boys are already overweight. In Italy, 38.8 percent of girls are overweight.

Despite what anyone says, this surge cannot be called a “genetic” phenomenon – unless some virus is re-writing our DNA. More likely, it’s the Western diet and sedentary lifestyle that are wreaking havoc on our bodies.

And the costs of this epidemic are going to be enormous as these children have a much greater risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“This is going to be the first generation that’s going to have a lower life expectancy than their parents,” Dr. Phillip Thomas, a British surgeon tells The Associated Press. “It’s like the plague is in town and no one is interested.”

I disagree. It’s just that those who are interested are headed off and blocked on every front. Read any story that reveals clues as to the cause of the obesity epidemic, and a gaggle of experts will be there to discredit your claims.

Sound familiar? That’s what the tobacco industry did to great effect for decades. If a lung cancer victim went to court, the tobacco industry would provide experts that would throw doubt into every shred of evidence that linked smoking to cancer.

The same thing is happening in America, only now it’s the food industry. And as we export our diet, we’re dragging down the rest of the world’s children with us. What a sad legacy this will be.

A closer look as to whether sodas are partly to blame for the obesity epidemic. – The Associated Press via The Washington Post.

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