The Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis

The Weight of the Nation: Children in CrisisChildhood obesity is much more than a cosmetic concern. The health consequences of childhood obesity include greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and other serious illnesses.

The combination of these health effects and the dramatic increase in childhood obesity rates over the past three decades causes some experts to fear this may be the first generation of American children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Strategies like cutting out TV and sugar-sweetened drinks may help reduce a child's weight or prevent future weight gain, but not always for the reasons we expect. There is a link between TV watching and overweight and obesity among children.

While the act of watching TV - being sedentary and possibly eating snacks while taking in a favorite show - is part of the problem, experts are now looking at what kids watch as well. There is a growing debate over the effects of food marketing on the childhood obesity epidemic and what should be done about it.

Other episodes: 1. Consequences, 2. Choices, and 4. Challenges.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • BetsMcGee

    the childhood obesity epidemic by some estimates affect as many as 1 in 3. did you know if they were all to jump up and down and the same time they might lose some bloody weight. really though it's not the kids fault they just have slow metabolisms and very fast chip eating hands.

  • Jane Doe

    it's not the kids' fault, it's their parents

  • http://sexdrugsandgamedesign.wordpress.com/ theRayDog

    I don't think anyone in these videos is blaming kids themselves for being fat. Even when it comes to the parents, they suggest that while it is their responsibility there are a lot of forces working against them like advertising. I think it's a combination of both parents and corporate irresponsibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edgar-Hans-Peusken/656198781 Edgar Hans Peusken

    It's mainly a problem of minorities like African Americans and Latin American people because they have a different genetic set up. White people are used to eat very fat food like pork meat or fatty cold water fish for thousands of years while people on other continents did that way less (where fruits grows on trees whole year long)

  • Jeremy Hughes

    IF the only food most parents have access to is refined, super-produced garbage, then the problem is not the parents, the MAIN problem is the food mfg's that continue to produce toxic and nutrition-less food that is infused with sugar and salt, we will continue to see the problem worsen. Also, it's the educational system, there is a serious lack of nutritional learning in this country, and I do agree that the commercials that advertise CRAP as being wholesome to eat, should not only be illegal, but should probably come with a penalty of jail and loss of ability to conduct business in the food realm. Consider how we react to finding out that our kids toys have lead in them, we boycott the company and generally put them out of business for foul business practices, WHEN will we do the same to food mfgs?

    Grow your own food, that helps a LOT, I personally lost over 100 lbs just by getting off fast food and processed food, and switching to a more cave man diet! It's the best, have never had more energy in my life!

  • aurinko

    Oh my God... this was so sad to watch. This made me so angry for those parents! They r killing their children! How can someone plame the children about obesity?

    Who has the money? Who buys the food from the stores? Who makes the food? Who should take their children to some sport? Parents off course. How can any mother or father do this to their children? Im so pissed off by this.

    And that school "food"??? Or u cant call that food, its rubbish. Are u crazy or what? Why u parents allow that? Im from Finland and here our kids get everyday free lunch from school and its healthy. Vegetables, salads, (boiled) potatos, meats jne. And it does NOT cost very much to the city. Think about how much it would cost if half of those children would be obese in their adulthood?

  • http://www.facebook.com/renee.mellor Renee Amber Mellor

    I do this thing with my kids...I feed them at only meal times and then make them go play outside! I know, it's unheard of, but it works for us. TV and video game time are limited to an hour or so a day.
    It also helps that we mostly eat this stuff called "real food", we get it from the garden and from the chickens out back.

  • Jeremy Hughes

    In America we have this disgusting thing call Fascism where the corporate entities have made the bottom line "money" and welfare of the citizens is dead LAST on the list.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C2WOC44PHUH3UH34GT3XX67YYQ Robert

    If you would no something about nutrition u would now that what u said makes you look like a retard:P...

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristicartergibson Kristi Carter Gibson

    Here's a thought...don't allow your children to eat junk. See, problem solved. If the TV is the problem, get rid of that. There really is no excuse. Parents need to take ownership of their responsibility to care of their kids.

  • Jack1952

    Corporate entities do not tell me what to eat. That is my decision and mine alone. As long as you blame someone else for your problems you will never solve them. Good food is available and it is not as expensive as people think it is. People like to take the easy way and that is their right but don't complain when it doesn't work out the way you would like.

  • Jack1952

    We live in a world where to say no to a child is regarded as child abuse. The slightest pain a child experiences gives worry to permanent psychological trauma. I have seen small children hit and kick their parents who are pleading and negotiating with their little darlings. They say any physical restraining of the child will teach the child that might makes right. Every time I see a child kick his/her mother I can't help but think that the child already understands that principle.

    Your a meanie to some but I would leave my children in your care, anytime.

  • angelclaw

    8 grams of whole grains vs. 10 grams of sugar, and they call that healthy?? When I was a kid I wasn't allowed to have cereal with ANY sugar, not even plain Cheerios. Nor was I allowed to have any preservatives or artificial flavors or colors, and no soda unless it was a special occasion. If I wanted a snack, I was given a carrot or a piece of fruit. Processed foods never even entered our kitchen and I was only allowed to watch two hours of TV a day. Oh yeah, and I didn't get a car until I was 18, so if I wanted to go somewhere I had to walk or ride my bike. Now I'm in my 30's and I've never been overweight in my life. Thanks, Mom!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WA4P3WQCGLMBK2ZJRG4XEH5NYE T KO

    So the lady who said her kid eats at school and the school is responsible for feeding it good healthy food... She thinks that is their job.
    I would have to say that YOU are responsible for your kid. Either demand at the PTA meetings that the school get better food choices, or send lunch with your children from home. The school's job is to educate your child.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ABN37MIPRDMRW3UX3U3LJOVLSA manfruss

    Our love of money is causing more trouble than people are willing to admit. Advertising, advertising, advertising..... to get people to buy **** that is awful for them. The corporate drive for $ will lead them to destroy the world. Capitalism, unrestrained, is as bad as any other economic system it advocates against. Love the mighty $. Screw the rest.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ABN37MIPRDMRW3UX3U3LJOVLSA manfruss

    The single biggest solution is to end the love affair with the dollar (money). All these problems, almost every single one we can find relates back to someones profit. Advertisers and manufactures don't care about the "Weight of the nation." They're making money! Weapon's industries don't care about who their bombs hurt, they're makin' money! Until that material romance ends, this world will never heal. Our solutions are not manifest of this world, but spiritual in nature. In the way we deal with each other, and the way a corporate CEO is going to say "No" to something that harms people, and still makes a dollar. Under today's law, it is illegal for the Corporation to not harm someone, as their mandate is to make money at all costs. Well it looks like we're the cost. A price many are willing to pay. Sickening.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UVPLMRGKYLDDVD66JX4FG5HUYY Alien

    It's nice someone it trying to do something, but this obese epidemic is not going to stop while corporations are profiting from poisoning children with sugary junk food. The government won't do much because the corporations practically own them. We are all doomed to fatness...

  • Patsy

    I can't get my son to eat a decent meal when it comes to his school. I will fill the fridge with good food for him to pack and yet he will leave for school with his pocket money and buy chocolates, flavoured milk drinks, ice creams, and orange cordial that is masquerading as orange juice, hot greasy chips etc etc in the canteen. I am constantly getting letters home because he can't sit still and can't listen, he's jittery,shakey and becomes a smart mouth which inevitably leads to more trouble for him. He seems to do a sugar high and then the sugar low.
    I don't understand how they want me to deal with his behaviour and yet I can't change what is actually triggering and causing his behaviour. Until someone wakes up, then my son is going to slip through the cracks and theres not a damned thing I can do about it aside from refusing to buy processed foods at home. As for these energy drinks, this is the sort of thing that should only be sold in liquor stores. How can they not see why this generation is horrible little energised sugar ferals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.mckoy James Mckoy

    I'M sitting here 28 minutes in listening to 2 parents talk about how they are worried about their daughter being obese when they are clearly overweight themselves! They learn what to eat from their parents. Send them to school with a decent lunch but not enough money to buy junk food at school or on the way home. Do some parenting!
    And w
    hile congress is controlled by special interest groups corporations will continue to exploit children through the marketing of junk food

  • http://twitter.com/EducatedCoach Educated Coaching

    Totally agree. Also listening to parents say it is not possible to take the tv out of their >10 yr old kid's bedroom? But they really tried... I'm sorry, who is the parent?

    Also, what happened to parents packing proper lunches for their kids and eventually teaching the kids how to pack their own lunches. That was my kidhood. Has this skill been lost???

  • http://www.facebook.com/erin.mohn.7 Erin Mohn

    why do you allow your child to leave the house with money- my parents never let me have more than 50 cents- enough to make an emergency phone call.. Don't give your kid money, don't buy junk food- he'll eat the healthy food- nough said!

  • Sieben Stern

    she reminded me why i think you should need a permit and take classes before you have a kid. goes for mum AND dad.