In spite of what all the press around Michele Obama's "childhood obesity" campaign might lead you to believe, we are not merely facing a “childhood obesity crisis,” we are facing a crisis in feeding our children.
• teen girls have the worst nutrition of any group in America. 10% have iron deficiency anemia– effecting IQ, attention, energy level, mood
• only one in ten teenagers gets close to the recommended fruit and vegetable intake
• 2 out of 3 teenage girls are dieting
• dieting is a predictor of weight gain and depression and is often a trigger for devastating eating disorders
• even “healthy” dieters are heavier and have more disordered eating than non-dieters
• almost half of teenage girls use extreme dieting measures such as laxative abuse, vomiting or crash fasting
• 20% of kids have “feeding disorders” that impair growth and development (according to Kennedy-Krieger researcher)
• 80% of kids with developmental problems have feeding problems
• there is an increase in diagnoses of eating disorders at ever younger ages
• 80% of "obese" adults were not "obese" as children. Even if you believe that weight on its own predicts health care costs (a point of significant debate,) the current approach of targeting "fat" children will fail to control future costs as it gives today's "normal" and "underweight" kids a pass-and they don't know how to eat either.
We need to address eating and health behaviors for all children.
What do you think?