Overweight Kids: Are Corporations to Blame?

From the Show: HER
Summary: Childhood obesity and resulting health conditions are rampant. Why aren't corporations held accountable for contributing to the widespread epidemic?
Air Date: 11/28/13
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Francine R. Kaufman, MD
Francine KaufmanFrancine Ratner Kaufman, M.D., was director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center, and head of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles until 2009 when she stepped down to become Chief Medical Officer and VP of Global Clinical, Medical and Health affairs at Medtronic Diabetes (Northridge, CA). Dr. Kaufman is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Pediatrics and Communications at the Keck School of Medicine and the Annenberg School of Communications of the University of Southern California, and an attending physician at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Kaufman has published more than 220 peer-reviewed and invited publications. She is the author of more than 40 books or book chapters. In 2012, she authored the Insulin Pump and Glucose Sensor Book for the ADA and edited the 6th edition of the ADA’s Medical Management of Type-1 Diabetes. In 2005 her book, Diabesity, was published by Bantam. Dr. Kaufman was chair of the National Institutes of Health funded Studies to Treat (the TODAY Trial) and Prevent (the HEALTHY Trial) Type-2 Diabetes in Youth (STOPP-T2). She was a principal investigator of TrialNet, a multinational consortium evaluating ways to prevent type-1 diabetes, funded by the NIH. She was instrumental in banning sodas from Los Angeles Unified School District in 2003.
Overweight Kids: Are Corporations to Blame?
Have you heard of the advertising slogan for the popular chip, Pringles? "Once you pop, you can't stop!" has an intended meaning that once you pop off the lid, you can't stop eating. These types of advertisements are very persuasive.

When is the last time you saw an advertisement for fruits and vegetables?

Soda, chips, hot dogs, french fries and pizza are some of the main lunch items that are served in school cafeterias. Sodas are the leading source of added sugar in children's diets.

Endocrinologist, professor, and author, Dr. Francine R. Kaufman, MD, points out that the National School Lunch Program, which was established in the 1950's to provide nutritious meals at a low subsidized price, has been augmented over time and in many cases supplanted by what are termed "competitive foods."

"Competitive foods" compete with USDA meals and are sold at the snack line in the cafeteria and in vending machines in schools.

Who has allowed our schools to be infiltrated by giant corporations?

The food industry should be held accountable to promote healthier choices rather than contributing to a widespread epidemic.

Happily, as Dr. Kaufman points out, some enlightened school districts have begun to fight back. She also shares the things you can do as a parent and as a part of society to prevent and reverse these unhealthy trends.