Childhood Obesity Takes a Breather

The Journal of the American Medical Association just reported that Childhood Obesity has not increased over this past year. The yearly up-sizing of our nation’s youth — and the down-sizing of our nation’s health — has paused to catch its breath.
Think about the long long steady run — over two decades — in which obesity rates in our children have increased yearly to the level they are now … 32% of the kid population are overweight or obese.
They will have a harder time losing the weight that those who become overwide as adults, and so, the health consequences will be long lasting.
But what does this pause mean? One thing it does not mean is that we’ve solved the problem or even that we have slowed the pathetic progression of this health problem. The sessation of growth could have arisen on its own as a result of our reaching the national maximum of kids who will end up overweight or obese.
A drastic mistake would be to use this blip to pat ourselves on the back and “call it a day”. This would lead us to pull funding from worthy projects that encourage kids to walk, that build in time in schools for them to be active, and pay for healthy cafeteria foods.
We are a country of fire fighters. No one wants to pour money into a problem that may happen — because everything qualifies for that. But once a problem arcs into a good solid blaze, well then it’s something we’ll have a look at.
As any fire fighter knows, however, a momentary lull does not mean you put down your hose. We have to keep at this our national tradgedy until it is completely quelled and we have the structures in place to make sure such a shame does not happen again.
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