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Empty Calories Are Causing Rise In Childhood Obesity

October 6, 2010 by  

Empty calories are causing rise in childhood obesity   Poor food choices are leading to an explosion in obesity among the nation's adolescents, according to a new study conducted by the American Dietetic Association.

The results, which were compiled by examining responses to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, showed that 40 percent of the total calories consumed by young people are empty calories in foods like sugar-sweetened drinks, deserts, pizza and whole milk.

Researchers said that more education is needed to warn children of the dangers associated with eating food that is high in fat and calories and low in vitamins and other important minerals. Additionally, they called for changes in the nutritional value of food offered at schools and other public places.

"The epidemic of obesity among children and adolescents is now widely regarded as one of the most important public health problems in the U.S.," Jill Reedy and Susan M. Krebs-Smith said in their report. "Most experts agree that the solution will involve changes in both diet and physical activity, in order to affect energy balance.

Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and juice, were identified as one of largest problems, as 10 percent children's total calories come from these sources.

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  • s c

    Follow the money trail. Look at the ingredients on the labels. See this disaster for what it is, and start taking names, people.
    Your kids are at risk, America. If you don’t care what happens to them, their futures are predictable.
    If you do care, find ways to make this administration accountable. They’re your kids, aren’t they?

  • JimH

    When I was a kid we play football, baseball, basketball, rode bikes, the real way, not on a video game. We burned off those calories. WE should send the kids outside with an apple, instead of to their video game with a candybar.

  • ron j.

    Come on people. It is parents responsibility to educate our kids about what is healthly and what is not. There is no way to “blame” anyone else…..even the domocrats.

    • Fed Up Gal in NM

      Ron J,

      Yes, I agree; however…many (if not most) liberal democrats are pushing for the government to take over the role of parents. I’m sure there are some republicans guilty of this as well, but it seems the democrats are taking the lead on another “emotional blackmail” roller coaster ride.

      Quite frankly…many parents have become accustomed to expecting the schools to be their built-in baby sitter (at all tax payers’ expense). I say…if you plan to have children….really have a plan (to include footing your own kids’ bills…for school, recreation, clothing, etc). And for those who say I should be more understanding of the needs of children…I am understanding…I’m just sick and tired of adult “children” abdicating their parenting duties and costs to me.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        Fed Up Gal,
        I don’t understand the problem with todays kids, well I guess I do in a way. when I was a kid, we ate candy, drank sodas, ate hamburgers, and maybe one to two kids in my school were fat or overweight. we had an immagination that helped us make up games to play, and these games kept us running, as well! Most of the kids I ran with, myself included, looked like camp survivors!! I was always underweight as a kid, you could count my ribs without touching. My Father always said I ate enough for two people. Kids today do too but they don’t have that immagination to keep busy and burn off those calories. They have to have their entertainment made for them and immagination be dammed! I agree with you on one thing though, the parents don’t make their kids play outside, they overfeed them and turn them over to somebody else to raise!!

        • Fed Up Gal in NM

          Joe H,

          Thanks; and I think you’re right about the lack of imagination by and for today’s kids in keeping active without the boob tube, IPOD, and video games.

        • libertytrain

          Joe and Fed Up – I was one of those kids that had imagination and played endlessly outside, riding bikes, running etc….but I was a still a porker – I like to hope that sometimes it really is still genetics.

          • Fed Up Gal in NM


            Very true; I played outside a lot as well, walked to the store, etc…and still I was no skinny mini. In my case, not sure if that was due to genetics, the crisco used in just about every southern dish made, the 1-2 cups of sugar in the “sweet” tea or a combination of them all…lol… I just know if video games and cable TV were prevalent then, I surely would have sneaked them in every opportunity I could have… and I probably would have been picked on even more, as if being the “teacher’s / coache’s / vice principal’s kid wasn’t enough…lol (now). I still make my own sweet tea (only cut the sugar down by two-thirds or use agave honey for sweetner as I use in my coffee now); haven’t touched Crisco in many years ;-).

            Enjoy your Columbus Day!

          • libertytrain

            Fed Up – You enjoy yours as well – it’s beautiful here in the NC mountains today and it’s my birthday as well – though who has time for those.

          • Fed Up Gal in NM

            Ohhhhhh…WOW…..Hope you have a wonderful (and blessed) Birthday and YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            It’s nice here today (and for the past week or so) in the SW as well. Did my swamp cooler to heater conversion Saturday…..just in time (it was quite cool this morning when I awoke).

            The Internt’l Hot Air Balloon Fiesta has been going well; brings a lot of tourist in for about 10 days the first part of October each year. On a sad note however, two of our local balloonists (Abbruzo from NM and Davis from Colorado) likely perished in the Adriatic Sea.

            For those interested in viewing Balloon Fiesta info and memorial info for our Abbruzo and Davis families, here’s a couple of links:



  • Don

    Yes, take a look at the ingredients of why our kids are getting fat and who is responsible.
    It is the fear of letting our kids roam there neighborhoods playing and running because our society has become so self centered that we are not a community any more.
    We don’t look out for our neighbors any more, don’t help them or even think about them.
    We also have been sparing the rod and spoiling the child for too long. It doesn’t work and the kids are getting fat.
    They spend too much time indoors where it is safer and not enough time outdoors playing.
    We buy them fancy cell phones and other electronics to keep up with the “Jones” and make them happy.
    The biggest difference in the junk food from 50 years ago and today is that there is more of a selection of it and it is easier to get, yet we did not have this issue 50 years ago. If anything, the junk food has become healthier in the last few years.
    We need to go back being a community, looking out for one another instead of trying to sue each other.
    Get the kids outside. Use junk food as a reward for good behavior and not as a replacement meal. Punish the bullies so the rest of the kids don’t fear going out to play. Take away the cell phones and electric baby sitters. Stop worrying about hurting “little Johnny’s” feelings, he’ll forget about it when he grows up.
    Rearing children has become worse in the last 30 years because of the erroneous idea that previous generations were doing it wrong. Children learned to respect others once upon a time and most did not get fat because of indulgence.

  • TIME

    How about a Moon Pie an RC Cola for a snack, followed by cardboard cheese buger, and a pound of mega sized Fried sugar fries, with a Mega sized Cola.

    Then have ten low fat mega waffels with 18 oz’s fake Maple syurp made out of some type of plastic by products.

    Then for a dinner of Fried Greese balls dripping with a sauce made from by products of cow fats, mixed with some fried poop on a stick, with more by products made from waste materials.

    Now just how tasty is that, WOW just sit right down and eat a few more pounds of it, its all good, come on look at you now, you need more fried fat.

  • Harriet D. Kolt

    Aside from children not having enough exercise, mothers or fathers are not cooking at home anymore. The healthy food of a home cooked meal is becoming a thing of the past. Noone has the time to prepare the meals or bake homemade cake or bread. The processed food is full of fat and chemicals that the human body cannot process and so it gets stored. We are still that people who need to be turned on and tuned out. We have no time for the children that we bring into the world. It shows on everyone’s body. We wear what we are eating.

  • Rennie

    CORN SUGAR, high fructose syrup, is the culprit, and corn generally being put into everything including gas tanks, is making people fat, and allergy/asthama sufferers sick, but politicians lack the ethics and courage to stand up to Iowa interests. It would be interesting to see if the overall damage from corn is greater than tobacco? Russia has banned food exports, China wants all our exports, both have had droughts and flooding wiping out crops, and Africa is starving and overpopulating itself as usual. The corn mania must end, we must return the USA to diverse agriculture and become self sufficient again before we are left begging for food, as the Irish and Scots were a century and a half ago while foreign landowners exported all their crops, (potato blight only made the famine worse, not caused it).

  • http://gmail i41

    Kick the kids out side and rake leaves mow grass and break those damn video games up and make them do calistics for infractions. I did with all of my kids in stead of getting upset, at age 11 my son did over 1000 set ups and over 1000 push ups in one 12 hr time frame for mouthing off to his mother and picking on his little sister. In poor grades or if it was decent out side weather, laps around the block was another good exercise. I could read a book and time them. When younger as long as they were moving they weren’t getting in trouble or up to mischeif. Parents need to take responsablity, not the village!

    • Jim H.

      i41, A pick-up game of football is more fun than calisthenics and not considered punishment. Those video games are ok, when the weather is bad,or after dark. No need to destroy them. We got a lot of good exercise without knowing it, we were just having fun.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        Jim H.,
        Try the wii dance mania and tell me they aren’t getting exercise from that!!! Sure most of them are sit still games and vegitate the kids but there are a few that get the heart rate up!!

  • Mark

    It’s simple. If you eat a lot of calories you need to exercise and/or move enough to burn off the calories. Everyone has to take responsibility for their own body and that of their children. Unless it’s a medical issue, there’s no excuse.

  • ABinGA

    Jim H.–I agree with 100%. We take our grandkids walking every day. There is a high school nearby on a hill with about 70 steps. They love trying to get to the top before paw paw. They also love the outdoors but we do give them a little game time, usually later in the evening when it’s time to un-wind.

  • anonymous

    I saw a news report about a program that both brings fitness into the classroom and promotes awareness for the need of physical activity in the lives of children. Many kids today are not getting the amount of exercise they need and are also uneducated about the health risks of eating poorly. The campaign helps to reinvent recess by increasing students’ activity through alternative and creative movements, with the help of dance instructors.

    The program initially was only implemented in Connecticut schools, but with its success and the overall concern of the issue at hand, it is now available to schools across the country. As part of the launch program, a video contest has been announced for children and young teens in grades 2-8 with efforts to address childhood obesity. I found this information on their site,


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