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Junk Food, TV Driving Kids to Obesity
Date:9/25/2007

niversity of Michigan found that 83 percent of high schools and 67 percent of middle schools now have contracts with a soft drink manufacturer. Revenues from such contracts are modest -- about $500 a year on average for middle schools and about $6,000 for high schools. The study found that Hispanic children were most likely to consume soft drinks.
  • Fewer schools provide students with opportunities to increase their levels of physical activity. In another study from the University of Michigan, researchers found that while almost nine in 10 eighth-graders must participate in physical education, that number drops to just two in 10 by 12th grade. Participation rates were lower for black and Hispanic children, according to the study.
  • Low-income, minority neighborhoods are more likely to have fast-food restaurants compared to high-income, predominantly white neighborhoods, according to researchers from the University of Illinois.
  • One in four TV commercials seen by teens are food ads, according to another University of Illinois study. The most common ads were for fast-food, beverages and sweets. Black adolescents saw about 14 percent more food ads than did their white peers, according to the study.
  • The availability of a large, chain supermarket was associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) in teens. In contrast, high availability of convenience stores was associated with a higher BMI, according to a study done by researchers from both the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan.
  • "The environment a lot of our kids live in is just plain unhealthy," said Dr. Goutham Rao, clinical director of the weight management and wellness center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and author of Child Obesity: A Parent's Guide to a Fit, Trim and Happy Child. "Human beings will eat what's easily available and will do what requires the least effort, so if you live where there's no fresh fruit availa
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