Child obesity task force: stacking the deck against parents and health

Feb 11, 2010 by

As of Tuesday, a White House task force made up of cabinet secretaries and other officials has 90 days to come up with a strategy to reduce childhood obesity. It’s a worthy use of their time. One-third of American 8- to 10-year-olds are now obese.

I’m sure the first thing this bureaucratic task force will no doubt tackle is the government’s own role in causing the problem. Our food system, which includes government subsidies for growing the ingredients of processed foods, notably the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup, has conspired to make junk foods the cheapest eats option. We pay the huge food companies to grow and produce junk food, and they in turn spend millions on advertising to kids and the rest of us.

I bet the first thing the task force will do is to insist we quit subsidizing processed…

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Training Kids to Tune Out External Cues, Tune in to Internal Ones

Aug 17, 2009 by

Stock girl looking in fridge

How do we humans know when it’s time to eat? Or how much to eat?

It starts well: in the beginning, our hunger perfectly regulates our eating.  A baby cries when she’s hungry and we feed her the optimal food—breast milk—or the best baby formula we can buy. It’s a simple as that.  Parents, who know best, feed the baby only those foods that will benefit her, and she learns to like them. So far, so good.

Getting civilized

It all becomes considerably more complicated as we grow up. In part, it’s a matter of becoming more civilized in our eating habits. Learning to follow some external cues…

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