Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 24 


Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: we will take you to a state where more than 60 thousand kids are chronically absent; and we will let you know why the rural digital divide can be a two-fold problem.

Daily Newscasts

Fighting Childhood Obesity a Family Affair

September 1, 2010

LOS ANGELES - Almost a million California children, about one in nine, are overweight or obese – and they're part of a group of 23 million children and teens nationwide with weight problems. It's all the more reason for the first-ever National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, which kicks off today.

Dr. Sarah Hampl, medical director of weight management programs at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, says she can't stress enough that children need balanced meals as well as regular physical activity – and most can't do it alone.

"We know that it really isn't very successful or sustainable for kids to try to make these lifestyle changes by themselves when the rest of the family is not on board."

According to Hampl, contributing factors for unhealthy weight gain include too much "screen time" in front of televisions and computers, drinking too many sugary drinks, skipping breakfast, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and eating too many meals outside the home.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) supports reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and is introducing legislation that would ban sugary snacks from school grounds at all hours. He also wants to stop junk food from getting into schools for fundraising purposes.

"I don't mind an occasional bake sale myself, but what we're seeing is people selling Oreos to raise money. In that way, I don't want unhealthy foods competing with healthy school breakfasts and healthy school lunches."

A new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds obesity and diabetes have increased significantly in just six years, despite the fact California offers plenty of outdoor activities and a robust agricultural industry.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA