Contrary to widespread belief, there is a physical limit to the size of America’s waistline. Yes, we know it’s hard to believe.
NYT: Chicken nuggets, burgers, fries and colas remain popular with the under-13 set, of course. But new market research shows that consumption of these foods at restaurants is declining, while soup, yogurt, fruit, grilled chicken and chocolate milk are on the rise.
The findings, based on survey data by the Chicago market research firm NPD Group, follow a report last year that childhood obesity appears to have hit a plateau after rising for more than two decades. That finding, reported by The Journal of the American Medical Association, has been greeted with guarded optimism, and it remains unclear whether efforts to limit junk food and increase physical activity in schools have had a meaningful effect on the way children eat.
As Marc Ambinder notes it is just one study. It could just be a statistical blip, which would mean there’s no change it all in growth of childhood tummies, which totally wouldn’t surprise us at all (see: Your local mall, specifically the food court or the arcade). And this is sure to have all kinds of political implications, as leaders cite the success or failure of some government program (cause it couldn’t possibly be that people on their own just woke up and got a clue). Surely, the mantra will be that it’s good news, but we have to do more.
We were happy that Obama mentioned the obesity problem during his big healthcare speech yesterday, since after all, a speech on healthcare should probably pay some passing reference to health. The popular idea that the childhood obesity problem is all about “video games” is pretty silly, since we’ve noticed that the adult population isn’t looking so hot, either.
If the government wants to do something productive, it could start by cutting off subsidies to corn, corn syrup and more corn. And while they’re at it they could scrap the outdated food pyramid, which still suggests that bread and pasta are the foundation of a healthy diet.(Though if they do that, we’ll still probably get some squishy Oprah diet consisting of low-salt tabbouleh, pita bread and maybe a skinless chicken breast as a treat)
Or, maybe people could stop looking to the media or the government for good common sense. How novel would that be?