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Epidemic: Social Perspectives on Childhood Obesity
 

Epidemic: Social Perspectives on Childhood Obesity

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Book created for a communication class at the IIT Institute of Design. Accompanying poster and presentation not attached. This work was featured in Steven Heller's Design School Confidential on page ...

Book created for a communication class at the IIT Institute of Design. Accompanying poster and presentation not attached. This work was featured in Steven Heller's Design School Confidential on page 93.

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    Epidemic: Social Perspectives on Childhood Obesity Epidemic: Social Perspectives on Childhood Obesity Document Transcript

    • epidemic Social Perspectives on Childhood Obesity 
    • epidemic: Social Perspectives on Childhood Obesity a public epidemic . . . 4 societal changes . . . 6 social stigma . . . 2 making a change . . . 4 • parents . . . 6 • schools . . . 8 • companies . . . 22 current initiatives . . . 24
    • 
    • a public epidemic Awareness is not enough. Childhood obesity is no longer a private affair. According to a recent International Journal of Pediatric Obesity report, nearly half of children in North America will be overweight by 2010  . The size of this problem alone has sprung an initially touchy subject into the thoughts of many Americans. Public awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic is on the rise due to increased media coverage. Reports on nutritional values for children, parental responsibility and the current statistics of childhood obesity, childhood obesity- related surgery and the like are consistently seen on major news channels and in newspapers. Despite the attention given to the state of the problem, media and the public play a large part in all aspects of childhood obesity. In the following pages, we will discuss public perception and the societal pressures involved in childhood obesity. 5.5% obese 15% Rise in childhood obesity from 1963 - 2000  . 5.% obese 10% 1y ears 6-1 rs 19 yea .0% obese 12 - 5% 2 - 5 years 1963 1970 1980 1990 2000
    • March 2006 - Following the release of an February 2007 - This highly publicized case February 2007 - President Bush recently International Journal of Pediatric Obesity features 8 year old Connor McCreadie, called a forum to discuss the growing report, news reporters ran a multitude of who currently weighs over 200 pounds childhood obesity epidemic with executives stories on the growth of obesity in children - four times the average for a child of his from the food, beverage, and entertainment over time . Reports also focused on the age 2 . The boy and his mother have been industries 4. projected obesity rates for the year 200 . attacked by public officials and media hounds regarding claims of child abuse as the British National Obesity Forum threatens to turn him over to private care. 5
    • societal changes Consuming more carbohydrates 5. Calories per capita remained relatively constant from 1970 until the mid-1980’s, but then increased. Taking a look at the macronutrient supply during this time, the association can be made between a sudden caloric intake increase and the rise in carbohydrate consumption. This change can be attributed to the decline in food prepared and consumed at home 5 . In 1970, Americans spent one third of their food dollars on food away from home; this amount grew to 39% in 1980, 45% in 1990 and 47% in 2001. The assumption can be made that increasing income and more two-income households give people the means and the incentive to eat more convenient meals on the go. 1970 1976 - Microwave ovens 6:00 become widespread. Obtain 60% U.S. market share. 1977 - Over twenty percent of children walk or bike to school.
    • 500 grams per capita per day 400 protein total fat 300 carbohydrates 200 100 2000 1985 - Nintendo 1990 - Suburban sprawl entertainment system growing rapidly. Over 9 million first sold in America. acres of rural land have been developed since 90. 1992 - School bus usage peaks after a large, steady increase in its role beginning in  9 (subsequently declines).
    • societal changes Unhealthy food gets cheap, produce prices increase. Over the past 20 years, the prices of sugars, sweets and soft drinks have soft drinks noticeably decreased while the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables fresh produce has sharply risen. While the consumer price index increased to sugars and sweets 180 by 2002, the price index for fresh fruit consumer price index and vegetables increased to 258 5 . These price differences can be attributed to a number of societal and environmental causes. Primarily, lower gasoline and overall transportation costs have helped soda and sweets become cheap and widespread. 1970 1976 - Microwave ovens 6:00 become widespread. Obtain 60% U.S. market share. 1977 - Over twenty percent of children walk or bike to school.
    • 250.0 200.0 price index 150.0 100.0 2000 1985 - Nintendo 1990 - Suburban sprawl entertainment system growing rapidly. Over 9 million first sold in America. acres of rural land have been developed since 90. 1992 - School bus usage peaks after a large, steady increase in its role beginning in 9 9 (subsequently declines).
    • societal changes 25 Smaller percentage of students walking to school 5. 20 20.2 At left is a comparison of the percentage percentage of school trips of school trips among U.S. children aged 15 16.6 five to 15 years in three different years. 12.5 With decreases in the prices of gas 10 and suburban sprawl at a peak, more and more children are relying on private automobiles for their ride to school. As 5 a result, the number of children biking and walking to school has dramatically decreased. 1977 1990 2001 1970 1976 - Microwave ovens 6:00 become widespread. Obtain 60% U.S. market share. 1977 - Over twenty percent of children walk or bike to school.
    • Shorter average trip length 5. walking 1.4 At right is a comparison of the average biking 1.31 trip length (in miles) among U.S. 1.2 children aged five to 15 years. As pictured, the average length of biking 1.0 0.98 0.94 trips for children has substantially decreased over the past 34 years 0.8 why the distance of walking trips has 0.69 remained relatively constant 5. 0.6 0.59 0.53 Because the amount of physical 0.4 activity achieved is highly dependent miles on the length of time in which you are 0.2 exercising, this decrease has a greater impact than may be apparent. 1977 1990 2001 2000 1985 - Nintendo 1990 - Suburban sprawl entertainment system growing rapidly. Over 9 million first sold in America. acres of rural land have been developed since 90. 1992 - School bus usage peaks after a large, steady increase in its role beginning in  9 (subsequently declines).
    • Augustus Gloop - Portrayed as a Dudley Dursley - As an antagonist in Shrek - Although portrayed as a gluttonous, spoiled boy, Augustus Gloop the Harry Potter story, Dudley Dursley is protagonist, Shrek is stuck in a big, ugly of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the overweight, spoiled cousin of Harry. body as part of a magical spell. In the end, remembered for a scene where he gets Dudley eats excessively while Harry starves the skinny princess he is in love with turns stuck in a tube due to the size of his and he blames Harry for all the trouble into an equally large and ugly monster. belly. Willy Wonka punishes him for his Dudley creates. Only then can the two be together. eating habits by leaving him helpless and continued his chocolate factory tour.
    • social stigma Teasing and discrimination. Obese children are subject to more than just health risks, According to the American Obesity Association, adolescent they are the subject of discrimination. The social stigma females are reportedly subject to direct and intentional associated with obesity can be seen in cartoons and weight-related teasing, jokes and derogatory statements. movies as well as in interactions with other children. Obese children in general are stereotyped as being lazy, inactive, unclean or a bully. As a result of such In media, obese characters are often portrayed as discrimination, childhood obesity puts children at risk of gluttonous, spoiled and mean. Cartoons use obesity depression, low self-esteem and negative body image. as a form of comic relief. Though now becoming more Furthermore, a UC Berkeley study claims that overweight politically correct, images of giant pigs eating a huge adolescent girls are less like to be accepted to college, dinner and exploding or bulky people getting stuck in small less likely to be married, and less likely to be economically spaces are still lingering on TV shows and in comic books. well off in adulthood. 
    • making a change Calling on parents, schools and marketers. Recent trends in childhood obesity present a severe is responsible for reversing the childhood obesity trend. public health problem with which all Americans should Seventy seven percent of the adults surveyed agreed that hold concern. As a society, we are forced to deal with childhood obesity is a major problem in the United States. the repercussions of childhood obesity and therefore, as Twenty-one percent said childhood obesity is a minor a society, we must address the problem. But what can problem and only two percent do not consider it a problem. we do? And who can do it? Whose responsibility is it to protect children from these health risks and to treat those In the following pages, we will discuss the preventative children who have already become obese? measures each societal groups can take to promote more healthy eating habits and active lifestyles in America’s A February 2006 Harris Poll surveyed 2,387 U.S. adults children. to better understand who the American public believes
    • Agree (or somewhat agree) Disagree If children in the U.S. are becoming obese it’s parents because parents are not paying enough attention to their eating habits, not because of the food industry’s marketing and advertising. 83% 14% Public schools should do more to limit children’s schools access to unhealthy foods like snack foods, sugary soft drinks and fast food. 83% 14% Advertising by the food industry that is directed towards children is a major contributor to the rising rate of childhood obesity. 68% 27% marketing & advertising The government should take companies to court if they mislead children and their parents about the nutritional value of the foods they sell. 58% 38% The government should play a more active role in regulating the types of marketing and advertising that the food industry directs towards children. 55% 41% Harris Interactive Poll. February 15, 2006. www.harrisinteractive.com/news 5
    • making changes at home Avoid snacks. Children who Sit down for family meals. Eat snack while watching television together as a family for at least 0 or doing homework tend to have minutes a day 0. increased caloric intakes. Remove televisions from children’s bedrooms and bathrooms to aid in creating a healthy-weight environment 0 . Take small steps. Small, gradual Encourage kids to play outside. changes work best. Switch from For example, riding a bicycle or soda to milk or water or turn the playing basketball with friends - TV off after dinner. instead of staying in the house.
    • Encourage an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits. parents Preventing and treating obesity requires the entire family. Not only must the family change its behavior as a whole, but parents must create a healthy environment for their children. The Institute of Medicine has suggested the following steps to be taken by parents towards confronting the epidemic. 1. Encourage an active lifestyle for your child. 2. Limit television watching. 3. Engage in and promote more healthful dietary intakes (use caution - a high degree of parental control of diet is linked to a child’s inability to regulate fod intake. 4. Serve as a healthy role model. 5. Learn to keep track of your child’s BMI index. 1 4 5 
    • making changes at school Provide a consistent environment that is conducive to physical activity and healthful eating habits. Schools are one of the primary locations for reaching 2. Increase opportunities for frequent, more intensive the nation’s youth. Schools must begin to focus more and engaging physical activity during and after school. on what foods and drinks they serve their students, 3. Implement school-based interventions to reduce what meal programs are available and what competing children’s screen time. foods exist on campus. The following are suggested immediate steps to be taken towards confronting the 4. Develop, implement and evaluate innovated pillot childhood obesity epidemic in schools. programs for both staffing and teaching about wellness, healthful eating and physical activity. 1. Improve the nutritional quality of foods and beverages served and sold in schools and as part of school- related activities. According to the National Academies, Schools should use walk-a-thons or other School health services can play a more nutritional standards must be implemented benefits to replace money recieved from prominent role in addressing obesity by for vending machines 8. sale of competitive goods 8. measuring each student’s weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) regularly 8.
    • Serving a well-balanced meal. The meal pictured below is typical of sweets American school lunch menus. At present, competitive foods sold at lunch time (i.e. meats dairy cupcakes, cookies, shakes, potato chips) not only fail to meet nutritional standards but also detract children from eating more fruits vegetables nutritious parts of their meal. By applying current FDA nutritional standards to all food items for sale, children will be more likely to grains consume a well-balanced meal. cupcake, 1ct. 220 calories 1 servings fat/oils applesauce, 4 oz. 65 calories 1 serving fruit fish sticks, 5ct. 310 calories, 8g fat 1 serving meat french fries, 14 ct. 290 calories, 9g fat 2 servings fat/oils 9
    • making changes at school Provide a consistent environment that is conducive to physical activity and healthful eating habits. Schools are one of the primary locations for reaching 2. Increase opportunities for frequent, more intensive the nation’s youth. Schools must begin to focus more and engaging physical activity during and after school. on what foods and drinks they serve their students, 3. Implement school-based interventions to reduce what meal programs are available and what competing children’s screen time. foods exist on campus. The following are suggested immediate steps to be taken towards confronting the 4. Develop, implement and evaluate innovated pillot childhood obesity epidemic in schools. programs for both staffing and teaching about wellness, healthful eating and physical activity. 1. Improve the nutritional quality of foods and beverages served and sold in schools and as part of school- related activities. According to the National Academies, Schools should use walk-a-thons or other School health services can play a more nutritional standards must be implemented benefits to replace money recieved from prominent role in addressing obesity by for vending machines 8. sale of competitive goods 8. measuring each student’s weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) regularly 8.
    • Serving a well-balanced meal. The ideal American school lunch would sweets touch on the majority of food groups - essentially dairy, fruit, vegetable and grains. It would also allow for a greater portion of meats dairy calories generated by natural and nutritious foods as opposed to fats from grease and fruits vegetables oil. In addition to serving healthier meals, the Institute of Medicine recommends banning vending machines from school to grains prohibit competitive food sale altogether. carrots, celery, 2 oz. schools 20 calories 2 servings vegetable applesauce, 4 oz. 65 calories  serving fruit tomato soup, 8 oz. 90 calories  serving vegetable grilled cheese,  ct. 240 calories, 9g fat  serving dairy, 2 servings grains 2
    • making changes in media Encourage an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits. There exists great potential in the advertising and marketing industry to positively portray healthful eating habits and an active lifestyle to children, and thereby help to change social norms regarding childhood obesity. The following are the Institute of Medicine’s suggested immediate steps to be taken towards confronting the epidemic in marketing and advertising. 1. Develop healthier food and beverage product and packaging innovations. 2. Expand consumer nutritional information. 3. Provide clear and consistent media messages.
    • Advertising to children. ”Food is the number one product advertised to kids, followed by media such as music, video games, and movies,” said Vicky Rideout, vice president of the Foundation’s Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health regarding a 2005 media study . The study found that more than a third of commercials targeting children or adolescents are for candy and snacks -- often high-fat, sugary foods that are likely to fuel the on going childhood obesity epidemic. Children 8 to 12 years old watch the most food commercials, averaging 21 ads daily, according to the findings. That adds up to 7,600, or nearly 51 hours, annually. Teens, 13 to 17 years of age, see 17 food ads daily, or more than 6,000 per year, while youngsters 2 to 7 view 12 foods ads per day, or 4,400 yearly . companies The American Institute of Medicine has deliberated that these sorts of advertisements should be carefully controlled by marketers, and government if necessary. 2
    • current initiatives Moving towards a healthier future. As the public becomes more aware of the problem of childhood obesity, non-profit and government organizations as well as influential corporations are beginning to take strides towards a solution. As previously discussed, the government has contracted the Institute of Medicine to make recommendations to the public while President Bush does the same to companies that come into contact with children. At right is a brief sample of what such companies are doing to make a change in the weight of this country’s youth. These programs may address foods and advertising or inactivity and school policy. Cartoon Network’s “Rescuing Recess” campaign 6. Begun in early 2006, the Cartoon Network’s “Rescuing Recess” campaign is fighting to have recess reinstated in schools where it has been taken away. The first stage of the campaign had over 100,000 children write letters to policymakers reminding them that they are big fans of recess. During “National Recess Week” in September 2006, the Network had parents sign up online for a free “recess kit” that included all the supplies necessary to hold a recess rally 6.
    • Ad Council and Dreamworks’ Coalition for Healthy Children 9. The Ad Council has begun a campaign that focuses on the importance of eating healthy and being physically active through two complementary efforts. The “Be a Player” PSAs feature characters from DreamWorks Shrek encouraging children ages 6 to 9 years old to get up and play for at least one hour every day - and demonstrate the fun that they can have doing it. The “Can Your Food Do That?” PSAs let kids know that eating healthy can help them do the things they really love to do, and do them better 9. Kraft’s “Sensible Solutions” program and changes to advertising campaign . In 2005, Kraft foods launched the “sensible solutions” program to help consumers identify the healthier foods that the brand offers. In conjuction with this program, the company decided to shift the mix of products it advertises in television, radio and print media viewed primarily by children ages 6-11, such as many popular cartoon programs, toward products that qualify for the flag, and phase out advertising in these media for products that don’t. Such products include Kool-Aid beverages, Chips Ahoy! and Oreo cookies . 25
    • Works Cited . Associated Press. “Study: Childhood Obesity expected to soar world wide.” MSNBC Online. March , 2006. www.msnbc.nbc.com 2. Zeller, T. “Into the Mouths of Babes: Childhood Obesity.” The Lede. March 6, 200. thelede.blogs.nytimes.com . Institute of Medicinje of the national Academices. “Childhood Obesity in the United States: Facts and Figures.” September 2004. www.iom.edu 4. Office of the Press Secretary. “President and Mrs. Bush Discuss Childhood Obesity.” February , 200. www.whitehouse.gov 5. Strum, R. “Childhood obesity - what we can learn from existing data on societal trends, part 2.” Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2005 April. www. cdc.gov 6. Radcliffe, Jennifer. “Rescuing Recess.” September 2, 2006. blog. chron.com . www.boston.com/business/articles 8. Office of News and Public Information. “National Effort Urgently Needed to Combat Childhood Obesity; Actions Required by Schools, Families, Communities, Industry, and Government.” National Academies Press Release. Sept 0, 2004. http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/ newsitem.aspx?RecordID=05 9. Ad Council. “Childhood Obesity Prevention.” http://www.adcouncil. org/default.aspx?id=45 0. “Childhood Obesity: Make weight loss a family affair.” www.mayoclinic. com/health/childhood-obesity/FL00058 . Kraft Newsroom. “Kraft foods announces marketing changes to emphasize more nutritious products.” www.kraft.com/ newsroom/022005.html
    • Acknowledgements (photographs) Children w/chinese and TV (p2) - gettyone.com Don’t Supersize (p) - psa.americanheart.org Happy meal promotion (p) - www.mcdonalds.com Playstation promotion (p) - www.playstation.com Boy w/hamburger (p) - medicineworld.org Two boys on PS2 (p) - www.flickr.com, njum photostream Obesity video (p5) - www.msnbc.com McCreadie and mother (p5) - thelede.blogs.nytimes.com Bush obesity conference (p5) - www.whitehouse.gov Augustus Gloop (p2) - www.imdb.com Dudley Dursley (p2) - www.przygody-harregopottera.blog.onet.pl Shrek (p2) - www.imdb.com Soccer kid (p) - http://farm.static.flickr.com/5/4462_dcc522d26.jpg Mom at doctor (p) - http://www.hawaii.edu/dyson/Happy-mom-web.jpg Mom, kid running (p) - www.flickr.com, TashaLoz photostream Vending machine (p8) - www.flickr.com, motocchio photostream Walk-a-thon kids (p8) - http://farm.static.flickr.com/46/459902_fbc0bca.jpg BMI measurement (p8) - http://irweb.swmed.edu/chn/naa/images/weight.jpg C Aguilera pepsi ad (p2) - orangeyogurt.i.ph Rescuing Recess (p24) - www.cartoonrecessweek.com Recommended Readings For parents: . Mayoclinic online reference. “Childhood obesity: Make weight loss a family affair.” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/childhood-obesity/FL00058, “Fitness for kids: Getting your children off the couch.” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/ FL0000 2. Nemours Foundations Kids Source website. “Overweight and Obesity Guide for Parents.” http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/food/weight/overweight_obesity.html . Institute of Medicine Childhood Obesity Fact Sheet for Parents. www.iom.edu/File. aspx?ID=226 For educators: . The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools website. “School Health Issues: Obesity and Nutrition.” http://www.healthinschools.org/sh/obesity.asp 2. Institute of Medicine Childhood Obesity Fact Sheet for Educators. www.iom.edu/ File.aspx?ID=2265 2