New Study Shows Virtually Everything in Society Pushes People to Eat Too Much and Unhealthily
May 12, 2012
Lisa, only four percent of our elementary schools require daily -- require daily physical education. A lack of sidewalks discourages walking. Huge parts of the population don't have access to nutritious food. But when we attempt to legislate solutions, Americans say don't tell me what to eat, don't tell my kid what to eat. Is this a nanny state?
We have to go somewhere between those two extremes, don't we?
LISA YOUNG, AUTHOR, "PORTION TELLER": Absolutely, I completely agree with you. I think that the most important thing we need to address, which was released at the CDC conference this week from the Institute of Medicine report, is we need an environment that supports healthy foods and beverages.
ROMANS: Does that environment today do that?
YOUNG: No. So it's about consumer choices, but we need to make those choices --
ROMANS: We're not given the choices is the point. The point is, in too few cases you're actually given a choice between healthy or not healthy. You're given a choice between different degrees of unhealthy.
YOUNG: Exactly. Big and bigger. You know, unhealthy and more unhealthy.
ROMANS: I can't understate how important this whole research and analysis and study was. I mean that willpower alone, they found, is not the reason why you're skinny or fat. It isn't willpower. It's a whole system that is stacked in a certain way.
Now, the Trust for America's Health put together this map. I want to show you the scope of the childhood obesity problem. Only one state, Oregon, with a childhood obesity rate below 10 percent. That's nothing compared to where we when we end up as adults, where at least one in four of adult Americans are obese in a majority of states.
Just one state, Colorado, is under 20 percent, barely. These are grownups that have heard their whole lives to eat less, exercise more. Why isn't it working?
DAVID KIRCHHOFF, WEIGHT WATCHERS PRESIDENT: Here's the good news, is that at least part of the calories kids are consuming happen on -- for example, in schools. So there's some research that's just came out that's showing that California is actually making some good traction by cleaning up vending machines and cleaning up the cafeterias.
We can and should do that. But I would say also one of the big challenges with childhood obesity is that parents have to be heavily engaged. They create the environment in their home. They're really in the position to have the biggest impact on this. And we can't shy away --
ROMANS: No pop and soda in the house. Milk and water is what a kid drinks until the age of what, six, seven, eight. The thing is that we're bombarded with these marketing messages, these cool things, a third less sugar with animals on them and cartoon characters.
The bottom line is what we put in our kids, most of the time, is what we feed them, not the schools or anybody else.
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