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vendredi 29 octobre 2010

Childhood Obesity in the USA

Some thoughts on Childhood Obesity in the USA as I am waiting for a Lunch of Langoustines in the sea side Brittany port of Quiberon..

The prevalence of overweight was 37% higher in blacks as compared with whites (30.6% vs 22.4%) even by age 9. The rate of overweight almost doubled in both groups during the 10-year period. By age 19, the rate of overweight was 56.9% in black and 41.3%, in white girls. The prevalence of obesity was 17.7% in black and 7.7% in white girls at 9 years old, and the rates also doubled during the study period.

Conclusions. The doubling in the prevalence of overweight and obesity during adolescence in black and white NGHS girls was surprising. By age 19, more than half of black girls were overweight and more than one third were obese. Almost half of white girls were overweight and almost 1 of 5 girls were obese. These findings should sound an alarm for all primary care physicians and public health professionals to take heed PEDIATRICS Vol. 110 No. 5 November 2002, pp. e54f what is happening to our youth.

it has been nearly ten years since this study was published.

More money has been spent, more exercise programmes, more nutritionists some even calling themselves Medical Nutritional Therapists, A slew of slanderous charlatans promising snake oil remedies, frustrated pediatric endocrinologists whose waiting rooms are full of fat children wanting to know if there is a hormonal defect giving rise to their cherubic appearances…

US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data and our longitudinal data do not indicate a parallel increase in energy intake that explains the doubling of obesity in this cohort during the 10-year study period.4

Activity does make a difference in the onset of overweight and obesity in adolescents as shown in the study by Dr Kymm.

Table 2. Prevalence of obesity among U.S. adolescents aged 12-19, for selected years 1988-1994 through 2007-2008

NHANES 1988-1994

NHANES
1999-2000

NHANES 2001-2002

NHANES 2003-2004

NHANES 2005-2006

NHANES 2007-2008

Boys, All

11.3

14.8

17.6

18.2

18.2

19.3

Boys, Non-Hispanic white

11.6

11.8

16.6

19.1

15.5

16.7

Boys, Non-Hispanic black

10.7

21.1

16.7

18.4

18.4

19.8

Boys, Mexican American

14.1

27.2

21.8

18.3

25.6

26.8

Girls1, All

9.7

14.8

15.7

16.4

17.3

16.8

Girls1, Non-Hispanic white

8.9

11.0

13.7

15.4

13.5

14.5

Girls1, Non-Hispanic black

16.3

25.2

22.0

25.4

29.8

29.2

Girls1, Mexican American

13.4

19.3

20.3

14.1

25.4

17.4

1 Excludes pregnant females.

NOTE: Obesity defined as body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to sex- and age-specific 95th percentile from the 2000 CDC Growth Charts.

So in the ensuing ten years, the obesity rate once again nearly doubled among the adolescent Girls, especially among the BLACKS.

(I find amusing this epidemiological stratification of non Hispanic Black, a child of Dominican or Puerto Rican or Cuban Black while they are considered Black will not be included in this count because they are considered Hispanic with surnames like Fernandez or Hernandez! Same applies to Blacks from Panama or any other atlantic rim countries of the Americas with a Black population such as : Venezuela, Colombia, Central American Countries )

If it is not the Quantitiy of Food, the food couldn't have been Doubled to account for this obesity , how about Quality of Food?

12-Year Old McDonald's Hamburger, Still Looking Good

Photograph taken by Karen Hanrahan

The McDonald's hamburger on the right is from 2008; the one on the left is from 1996. And they both look fairly edible.

Wellness educator and nutrition consultant Karen Hanrahan has kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to illustrate its nonexistent ability to decay. Aside from drying out and bit and having "the oddest smell," it apparently hasn't changed much in the past 12 years.



This isn't the first time someone kept an uneaten McDonald's hamburger for an extended period of time for the sake of science. Or in the case of the Bionic Burger Museum, multiple burgers for over 19 years. There are even instructions on how to start your own collection of old, self-preserving burgers.

I have been in the USA consistently at least once a month since 1990, and have observed this phenomenon as a participant observant. As an Endocrinologist, I was interested in the blossoming Obesity Epidemic and I can tell you, the quality of the food (especially the food available to the poor and the food of choice to the middle class) has continued to deteriorate.

During my visits to USA, the places I visit are remote areas:

Tama, Iowa; Walthill, Nebraska; Eagle Pass, Texas; Eagle Butte, South Dakota to give you a sense of where I go; mostly inhabited by the lowest rung of the economic ladder in the USA.

It is this poor quality Food Culture that is being exported as American to Australia, UK and other countries in the Wannabee West Belt of Asia: India, Singapour, Malaysia to give you some examples.

So I say to you:

As an admirer of American Generosity, American Ingenuity and American Hospitality ( all of which I have benefited from in the years of my study and visit there)

If you THINK like an American, you would become more generous

If you ACT like an American, you would become friendlier and more hospitable

And

If you EAT like an American, you will look like an American: Mostly FAT. ( I have difficulty buying clothes since Men’s sizes range to XXXXL… can you imagine how big is that? I can use S or M and by Asian standards I am bordering on Overweight, BMI of 22 kg/m2)