Report: One in five children will become obese
WASHINGTON (AP) — One in five children is predicted to be obese by the
end of the decade.
But efforts to turn that tide are scattershot and underfunded, and the
government killed one of the few programs proven to work, specialists
Programs that target youngsters’ growing waistlines are sprouting around
the country, an encouraging sign that the threat to children’s health is
being taken seriously, said the report by the Institute of Medicine.
But no one knows which programs really help kids slim down, said the
institute said in calling for research to identify best methods.
More troubling, the country lacks the national leadership needed to
speed change, lamented an expert panel convened by the scientific group.
“Is this as important as stockpiling antibiotics or buying vaccines? I
think it is,” said Dr. Jeffrey Koplan of Emory University, who led the
IOM’s panel. “This is a major health problem. It’s of a different nature
than acute infectious threats, but it needs to be taken just as seriously.”
To reinforce that point, Wednesday’s report spotlighted the government’s
VERB campaign, a program once touted as spurring a 30 percent increase
in exercise among the preteens it reached. It ended this year with Bush
administration budget cuts.