Huh. Well, isn’t this interesting:
Federal health authorities on Tuesday reported a stunning 43 percent drop in the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade, the first broad decline in an epidemic that often leads to lifelong struggles with weight and higher risks for cancer, heart disease and stroke.
The drop emerged from a major federal health survey that experts say is the gold standard for evidence on what Americans weigh.
That is, indeed, a stunning drop. If the data is good, it’s…well, it’s unlikely due to just one thing. Complicated problems rarely have simple solutions, so my guess is, it’s a combination of things, from doubling food-stamp dollars at farmers’ markets (which they do in Detroit) to curtailing garbage snacks in school vending machines to simple awareness, awareness, awareness.
There was a restaurant critic at the other newspaper in Fort Wayne, who was, for most of the time she was on the job, morbidly obese. Then she lost a pile of weight, gained some back, and I don’t know where she is at the moment, but I caught a radio interview with her during her skinny phase. She was telling the audience how much she had to learn when she was dieting, oh my goodness. She revealed that she’d routinely eat a package of Pepperidge Farm Lemon Nut cookies at her desk every morning, and she thought they were good for her — after all, the had “lemon” and “nut” in their name, and aren’t those things healthy? (Apparently the “cookie” part was blurred out on her package.) You laugh, but I bet more overweight people than you’d imagine have this sort of magical thinking. Maybe now they are simply paying closer attention.
That’s why, even though I think it’s not much of a step, I don’t really object to things like calorie counts on fast-food menus or restrictions on enormous sodas in New York City. I don’t eat much fast food, but when I do, I pay attention to calorie counts. I think, “I’m starving and I’m getting a burger, but I’m leaving off the cheese and — oh, this is hard — skipping the fries. The burger will fill me up, and there will be french fries to eat on another day. Just not today.”
And if I really, really, really want the fries, hell, I get them. I just take a moment to ask whether I really, really, really want them, or am just ordering them out of habit.
But this is kids we’re talking about here, which suggests maybe parents are making smarter decisions in regard to their children, too. Which is very, very good.
And yes, I give the first lady some of this credit; after all, it’s her signature issue. Not that I expect many to give her a shred of credit for it, though. Because she wants to take away Mrs. Palin’s Big Gulp, of course. And look how skinny Sarah is!
OK, enough of this. As predicted, today was a better day than yesterday, but it was busy, and now I must toddle off to bed. I leave you with? Bunnies!
Happy Wednesday, all.