Friday Feature: Interesting reading on the obesity epidemic

It's been a while since I posted! I'm currently working on a schedule for posts that is more predictable and organized. More on that later. For now, here is this week's Friday Feature. I'm not sure if you'll find that reading about the obesity epidemic sweeping across the country is exactly inspirational, but I find it quite intriguing. In fact, shocking statistics about the obesity levels in American children is part of what keeps me dedicated to teaching children (and reminding myself) about the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

One in five children ages 6-11 is obese, and the numbers are even worse for adults (one in three). But what makes me saddest of all is that one in ten preschool children is obese, and the number is even higher for low-income preschool children. This is the first generation that has a shorter life expectancy than their parents. These facts make me frustrated and furious. Thus, when I see them, I become newly motivated to teach children how to eat healthy and get moving. I'll be posting some ways that teachers can help kids learn about these concepts in later posts.

For now, here are some of the blogs, articles, and reports on obesity that I find particularly interesting.

  1. NY Times writer and cookbook author Mark Bittman has become one of my new personal heroes, and he has a great blog that gives information on current political events related to food, obesity, and public health in general. 
  2. Weighty Matters is a blog written by a Canadian doctor who specializes in obesity medicine. His posts often touch on Canadian politics, but obesity levels in that country are on par with American levels and his posts are often very relevant.
  3. Feedback Solutions for Obesity is written by a PhD student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, who I was lucky enough to meet on a recent visit to the city. The author is researching the complexities of obesity and instant feedback (like apps that monitor your weight), and often posts about new research on various concepts related to health and weight.
  4. The CDC of course has endless information on obesity in America. If you have time to look at only one thing, check out these graphs that illustrate the spread of obesity across the country from 1970 to today. It's shocking.
  5. And, just for fun, here's a website that shows some of the RIDICULOUS fast food entrees that are available for under $4 in the U.S. Like, for example, the Krispy Kreme burger. That's right, a hamburger (plus cheese and all the fixings) in between two donuts. It doesn't get much worse (or better?) than this...