Links on Childhood Obesity, Part I

by Reza Corinne Clifton

PROVIDENCE, RI – From taxes on soft drinks to White House initiatives, the topic of childhood obesity is on the minds of many people – and on the pages of many articles. Are you seeing a problem that you want to address? Are you only catching bits and pieces, while yearning for a more complete puzzle?

This post and its forthcoming companion(s) are designed for those who may have said yes to the questions posed above, and for those who want to spread the word on preventing and addressing childhood obesity. Of course, if there’s something we missed or something worth adding, be sure to leave us a comment or email us at


Learn More about Childhood Obesity…

At Events, Conferences or in Group Settings:

1) Scheduled for Hearing or Consideration:
H7510: An act that would require all chain food service establishments to provide nutritional/calorie labeling information for all standard menu items.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010
4:30 p.m, at the Rise of the House
The Rhode Island State House – Room 135
90 Smith Street
Providence, RI

Be there on Wednesday, March 3 to hear more about and begin actions around “the general assembly’s intent to require chain food service establishments to provide nutrition information for all standard menu items listed on the menu, including the total number of calories per serving, as usually prepared and offered for sale.” To read more language from the bill, click here. To a read a fact sheet on the topic, part of “State-Level Policy Actions to Reduce Obesity in Rhode Island,” click here.


A Webinar hosted by the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity
And a corresponding discussion convening in RI

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Rhode Island Department of Health, Room 302
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908

Join Rudd Center Director, Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, for a discussion on soft drink taxes and how they can address obesity. In addition to updates on the latest developments in state and local policies since our July 2009 webinar, Dr. Brownell will offer an overview of the rationale, relevant science, and economic and policy considerations of soft drink taxes. The webinar will be listen-only, but participants will have the opportunity to type questions in real time.

Two options for listening in: using voiceover IP (VoIP) through your computer (which incurs no additional cost and requires speakers or headphones on your computer; a microphone is not needed) or using your phone to dial into the webinar according to the confirmation email instructions (and will incur a cost to you based on your regular long distance rate).

To RSVP to the RI convening and discussion of the “webinar on soft drink taxes,” email To register to independently listen and participate, click here. For more on the Yale Rudd Center for Policy and Obesity, visit

To see other event listed on the Urban Health Watch Datebook page, click here.


Learn More about Childhood Obesity…

Through articles, studies, and newsletters:

1) School lunch menu is latest battleground in war on obesity
The Houston Chronicle

Washington — A federal program that began in 1946 to remedy the shocking malnutrition seen among World War II recruits is being transformed into ground zero in the nation’s new war against obesity.

The national school lunch program and other food programs under the Child Nutrition Act, due for a five-year rewrite, may be the most promising avenue to improve the nutrition of a generation of children who think food comes out of a wrapper and who face shorter lives because of their rising weight.

The costs of treating the chronic illnesses stemming from obesity, already at $147 billion a year, threaten to swamp the nation’s foundering health care system.

Click here to keep reading.

2) Remarks by The First Lady to the National Governors Association
Released February 20, 2010

Now, I know that the focus of this year’s meeting is the issue of health care. And over the next few days, you’re going to be talking about spiraling costs that are straining your budgets and running up all of our deficits — costs like the nearly $150 billion a year that we spend on obesity-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. You’re going to talk about the staggering Medicaid burdens — and how premiums have risen three times faster than wages, often bankrupting families in your states, sinking businesses in states all across this country.

But we all know that there’s another set of statistics that have to be a part of this discussion — like how nearly one in three of our children in this country is now overweight or obese. Like how one in three kids today will eventually develop diabetes — and in the African American and Hispanic communities, the number is nearly half. Because if we think our health care costs are high now, just wait until 10 years from now. Think about the many billions we’re going to be spending then. Think about how high those premiums are going to be when our kids are old enough to have families of their own and businesses of their own.

So we all know that we can’t solve our health care problems unless we address our childhood obesity problem, too. And that’s really why I’m here today: to talk about the issue of childhood obesity that is so important to me and what our states and our nations can do to solve it.

To keep reading, click here.

3) A Federal Effort to Push Junk Food Out of Schools
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will begin a drive this week to expel Pepsi, French fries and Snickers bars from the nation’s schools in hopes of reducing the number of children who get fat during their school years.

In legislation, soon to be introduced, candy and sugary beverages would be banned and many schools would be required to offer more nutritious fare.

To that end, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver a speech Monday at the National Press Club in which he will insist, according to excerpts provided to The Times, that any vending machines that remain in schools be “filled with nutritious offerings to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our nation’s children.”

Click here to keep reading.


4 responses to “Links on Childhood Obesity, Part I

  1. obesity is very big problem for all person

  2. Do we know where Rhode Island ranks in the obesity stats? For children & adults?

  3. Hi MJ,
    Thanks for the question. I did a search on the CDC website and came across a very interesting page:

    It showed “U.S. Obesity Trends Trends by State” from 1985–2008, ranking 21.5% of RI adults as obese. This is higher than MA and CT, but lower than NH, ME, and VT.

    The page also had info by ethnicity, on diabetes, and a link to data on childhood obesity, which I’ll use in Pt. II of the childhood obesity links.

  4. Pingback: Links on Childhood Obesity, Part II « Urban Health Watch

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