“The environmental factors in these studies range from the seemingly minor, such as kids’ plate sizes, to bigger challenges, such as school schedules that may keep teens from getting sufficient sleep. But they are part of an even longer list: the ubiquity of fast food, changes in technology, fewer home-cooked meals, more food advertising, an explosion of low-cost processed foods and increasing sugary drink serving sizes (pdf) as well as easy access to unhealthy snacks in vending machines, at sports games and in nearly every setting children inhabit—these are just a handful of environmental factors research has linked to increasing obesity, and researchers are starting to pick apart which among them play bigger or lesser roles in making kids supersized.
“At McDonald’s, CMO Neil Golden suggests the question should be flipped to ask: Why not use advertising to improve kids’ health?
“Ms. Anthony is not optimistic that the students will warm to their new lunches anytime soon — not as long as they can buy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from the vending machines or brownies from the student store for lunch.
“About 70 million Americans, or 23% of the population, live in rural areas. The researchers found that 39.6% of them are obese, while 33.4% of urban residents were obese. Including overweight people as well, the comparative totals were 70.8% and 67.1%, the study said.”
“Economists estimate that a penny-per-ounce excise tax would raise considerable funds which could be earmarked for preventive health programs, especially for low-income and minority children; raise the relative price of the drinks and thereby discourage consumption; and possibly increase demand for more healthful alternatives.”
“Although only 6% of the global population live there, it is responsible for more than a third of the obesity.