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Obesity News - DOC


  • pg 1
									Obesity News
Number 23, 24 September 2004

A collection of recently published news stories about obesity from a variety of
online sources. Click the link to go to the full story.


TV not to blame for world's problems - media expert
Waikato media expert professor Geoff Lealand says it's time to look beyond
television for the causes of complex problems such as obesity. They were more
likely to have their roots in poverty than in living-room appliances. The Otago
University study into the long-term effects on children of too much television
needed to be put into context.
Source: Stuff, 18 September 2004

Obesity causing upswing in heart disease
Doctors are becoming alarmed as yet-to-be-published data shows for the first
time an apparent upswing in cardiovascular disease deaths amongst a specific
group – those born in the 1970s. This item includes comments from FOE‘s Dr
Robyn Toomath.
Source: Stuff, 15 September 2004

All aboard the schools walking bus scheme
Westmere school‘s walking school bus is the largest in Auckland with 210 children
(48 per cent of its roll) registered for four "waka waewae" (pedestrian buses).
They head daily to a school where there used to be little room for cars to park or
drop off students. Auckland Regional Council is managing the scheme as part of
its goal to reduce the 40% contribution of education-related travel to Auckland‘s
morning rush hours.
Source: NZ Herald, 13 September 2004

Minister to join 'Walking School Bus'
Judith Tizard will join Westmere primary school students on their Walking School
Bus on Friday, 10 September at 8:30am.
The occasion is to celebrate the launch of the Auckland School Travel Plans
booklet?, part of a programme to assist schools and parents with travel planning
in Auckland.
Source: NZ Govt press release / Scoop, 8 September 2004

New Zealand – Pacific Island Health Chartbook

Tupu Ola Moui: The Pacific Health Chart Book 2004
The Tupu Ola Moui: Pacific Health Chart Book 2004 reviews Pacific health in New
Zealand. Some of the key findings for Pacific peoples compared with the total
New Zealand population are:
· Life expectancy is 74 years compared with 78 years
· Infant mortality is higher
· Heart disease rates are approximately double and
· They are more likely to be overweight or obese
Source: Ministry of Health publications, September 2004
Pacific Health Review,
A FOE news item summarises the Health Chart Book‘s obesity-related
Source: FOE news, 12 September 2004

Launch of Pacific Health Chartbook
Health Minister Annette King launched Tupu Ola Moui: The Pacific Health Chart
Book 2004, which provides a stock take of the health status of Pacific peoples in
New Zealand
Source: NZ Government speech, 9 September 2004

New Zealand – Food Industry Accord

Signing and launch of Food Industry Accord
Annette King‘s speech when launching the Food Industry Accord. Source: Hon.
Annette King speech notes / Scoop, 2 September 2004

PHA calls on food industry to improve information on food and drink
The Public Health Association is calling on the food industry to give better label
information on the fat and sugar content in food and drink if it is serious about an
industry accord aimed at reducing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Source: Press Release, Public Health Association / Scoop, 2 September 2004

Jeremy Irwin: Food business can help fix fat woes
Jeremy Irwin comments on the criticisms dealt out to recent obesity-action
initiatives in NZ and across the Tasman (the use of a McDonald‘s cartoon
character in the food industry accord, the partial funding by Coca-Cola of a
federal study of young people‘s exercise habits) then focuses on the advantages
of the food industry accord.
Source : NZ Herald, 10 September 2004

Communication Agencies Back Food Industry Accord
The Communication Agencies Association (CAANZ) has become a foundation
signatory of the New Zealand Food Industry Accord launched by the Minister of
Health in Wellington today
Source: CAANZ press release / Scoop, 2 September 2004

Accord tackles health and nutrition issues
A ground-breaking Food Industry Accord is the best contribution companies and
organisations working in the industry can make to encourage New Zealanders to
eat in moderation a balanced diet, the executive director of the Association of
New Zealand Advertisers, Jeremy Irwin, said today.
Source: NZ Assoc of Advertisers press release / Scoop, 2 September 2004

Accord aims to fight flab
Obesity Action Coalition says it will "watch with interest" and reserve judgment
on whether the accord would achieve positive results.
Source: NZ Herald, 2 September 2004

"Here’s your Accord: Would you like fries with that?"
Obesity Action Coalition‘s Celia Murphy comments on the Food Industry Accord's
new initiative to help address the issue of obesity in New Zealand.
"It could be good or, it could just be a very well funded lobby against the best
measures for public health and a powerful advocate for industry interests‖
Source: Scoop / OAC Press Release, 1 September 2004
Sue Kedgley: Obesity fight like trying to treat alcoholic living at pub
The food industry's voluntary accord on reducing obesity is…full of good
intentions and public relations spin, but devoid of concrete measures to help
reduce obesity. The only specific actions the industry has committed itself to are
rehashed American advertisements fronted by a McDonald's marketing icon, a
review of a voluntary advertising code for children, and support for a Let's Beat
Diabetes campaign.
Source: NZ Herald, 10 September 2004

Burger barons hijack obesity campaign
Green MP Sue Kedgley today revealed that the cartoon character handpicked to
front Annette King's healthy eating campaign is a McDonald's marketing icon.
Source: Green Party press release / Scoop, 3 September 2004

Greens in stew over burger-aid
The Green Party has accused McDonald's of hijacking a new healthy eating
campaign by planting its own marketing device in the advertising
Source: NZ Herald 6 September 2004

Ten point action plan launched for obesity accord
Green MP Sue Kedgley is challenging the food industry to implement a 10 point
voluntary action plan she has drawn up to reduce obesity in New Zealand, to
demonstrate that it is serious about reducing obesity in New Zealand.
Source: Green Party press release / Scoop, 2 September 2004

Anti-obesity icon bites King on the bun
Health Minister Annette King was forced to eat humble pie yesterday when she
admitted the face of a new healthy eating campaign was an old McDonald‘s icon.
The purple ―Willie Munchright‖ character – used by the fast food giant since 1992
in the US will front TV ads on exercise and nutrition for children from later this
month as part of the food industry‘s pledge to fight obesity.
Source: Dominion Post, 4 September 2004

Clarification of relationship between Annette King and Willie Munchright
The Healthy Eating Campaign, with Willie Munchright as its centrepiece, is being
promoted by the food industry as a key plank in its Industry Accord at the launch
of the New Zealand Food Industry Accord.
"Mrs King assured me she had no prior knowledge of the cartoon selected as the
centrepiece of the campaign and I accept her assurances," said Green MP Sue
Source: Green Party press release / Scoop, 3 September 2004

New Zealand – Other

Australasian Society for the Study of Obesity NZ Conference
ASSO – NZ is holding a conference in Auckland on 29-30 October.
Title: Obesity and the Dysmetabolic Syndrome
Location: School of Population Health, Tamaki Campus, University of Auckland.
Keynote speaker: Prof. Louise Baur

Getting fat on school fundraisers
While schools are finding new ways to fund-raise, chocolate is the most common.
FOE‘s Dr Robyn Toomath argues that schools need to adopt a national healthy
eating policy which ditches chocolate in favour of fruit or vegetable snacks.
"Chocolate is great as an occasional treat, but it is everywhere and eaten every
day and normalised by its sale in schools. We are driving the obesity epidemic,
Source: NZ Herald, 28 August 2004

Obesity Speech
Green MP Sue Kedgley‘s speech to parliament on obesity in New Zealand and
measures to take to reduce it.
Source: Speech, NZ Parliament, 25 August 2004

Soft drinks a diabetes risk
As diabetes rates soar around the world, some scientists believe there could be a
link with increasing consumption of soft drinks.
Scientists in the US this week said the rise in diabetes cases in that country might
be at least partly caused by spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels triggered by
the sugary drinks. Includes a NZ perspective.
Source: NZ Herald, 28 August 2004

New Zealand – Fat Tax

Fat tax proposal based on responsibility
The author of a new report on a proposed fat tax has responded to criticism from
the National Party's Paul Hutchison, who said that the principle behind any
campaign against obesity had to be choice, freedom and knowledge.
―I agree, but the principle he forgot is responsibility,‖ said the report‘s lead
author, Jim Sinner of Ecologic Foundation.
Source: Ecologic Foundation press release / Scoop 24 August 2004

NB Earlier fat tax stories are listed in Obesity News #22


Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance (Book)
Jeffrey P. Koplan, Catharyn T. Liverman, and Vivica A. Kraak, editors, Committee
on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth. National Academies Press, 2004
Book just released.
Institute of Medicine (IOM), September 2004

International – Australian Labor Party policy

Labor's Sport and Recreation Plan
Australian election policy
Source: ALP website

Labor’s sport and recreation policy (PDF)
Labor‘s plan for a healthier, more active Australia.
Source: ALP website

Labor will invest at grassroots level to battle Australia's bulging
waistlines (Registration needed)
Summarises Labor‘s $122 million sports and recreation policy.
―A Labor government would match the Federal Government's $116 million
commitment to fight childhood obesity, and spend $6 million of existing funds to
tackle drugs in sport, help Paralympians and improve equity in women's sport.
Central to Labor's policy, released yesterday, is a $91.4 million investment over
four years on the health and wellbeing of Australian children. About $80 million
would be spent on providing physical activities for children out of school hours.‖
Source: The Age, 24 September 2004
International - other

Obesity in Italia: 14 million people are overweight
Obesity statistics in Italy follow international trends. The Italian Court of
Cassation ruled recently to include obesity its list of diseases and make a
disability subsidy available to those who are affected by it. Comments on the
reasons for the increase in obesity in Italy.
Source: AGI Online, 23 September 2004

'Eat local' plan to tackle obesity
 A UK national food policy should be put in place to help combat obesity and
improve the environment, the Liberal Democrat conference heard today.
Source: The Guardian, 23 September 2004

Lib Dems launch child health plan
UK children must be taught to cook healthy meals at school, the Liberal Democrat
conference in Bournemouth has agreed
Source: BBC news, 22 September 2004

Hefty kids have higher risk of future heart attack
Overweight children are three to five times more likely to suffer a heart attack or
stroke before they reach 65 than slimmer youngsters, the World Heart Federation
Source: Reuters Health, 20 September 2004

International – Michigan bill stopping obesity lawsuits against

State Senate seeks to bar obesity lawsuits against restaurants
LANSING, Mich. (AP) People who think they got fat from restaurants could not
sue them or others in the food industry under legislation approved Wednesday by
the state Senate… The obesity lawsuit bill is House Bill 5809.
Source:, 22 September 2004

Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Bill to Stop Obesity Lawsuits – Bill Now
Goes to Governor
The Michigan Restaurant Association praised Senate lawmakers today for their
overwhelming bipartisan support of a bill that advocates consumer responsibility
in the dining choices they make and stops people from suing restaurants for their
weight gain or obesity-related health problems.
Source: Michigan Restaurant Association, 22 September 2004

International – US conference on Legal Approaches to Obesity

'Patience, Hell, Let's Sue Somebody'
Commentary from the food industry‘s viewpoint on the ―food police‖ at the health
professionals and the lawyers conference in Boston - the 2nd Annual conference
of "Legal Approaches to the Obesity Epidemic."
Source: CNS News, 22 September 2004

US Anti-obesity group mulls swell in suits
BOSTON — A single lawsuit against the food industry is not enough to reduce the
number of overweight and obese Americans, according to panellists at a weekend
health law conference. It will take numerous suits, federal laws and government
regulations sweeping across the food and several non-food industries to make a
significant impact.
Source: Washington Times, 19 September 2004

Young people practicing unhealthy habits
Smoking, obesity and poor eating habits increased among young people in the
United States in the 1990s, a trend that may lead to higher future rates of
cancer, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease as that generation ages.
Researchers compared data from 1990 and 2000 collected as part of the
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
In: American Journal of Health Promotion, Sep/Oct 2004
Source: 20 September 2004

Get moving Manchester
Outlines a US primary school programme to reduce obesity. Students keep a
daily log, earning points for healthy eating, exercising, limiting recreational
computer use and television viewing, and for getting their parents to participate
in a physical activity with them.
Source: The Union Leader, 20 September 2004

'Snacks not cause of obesity in children'
The booming industry in chocolate bars and crisps, often blamed for the rise in
childhood obesity, is not in fact responsible for weight gain in children, according
to research by scientists at Harvard University.
In: International Journal of Obesity, 28 (10) October 2004 Abstract
Source: The Independent, 19 September 2004

Obesity and blood pressure are alarmingly on the rise among Bahrain
school children
Over 30 per cent of primary school students suffer from excessive obesity, said a
new study prepared by Gulf Centre for Studies and Research. In intermediate and
secondary schools 31 per cent of the boys, aged 12 to 18, have a problem of
overweight, compared with 28 per cent among girls.
Source: Gulf Daily News, 18 September 2004

School-based program cuts children's diabetes risk
Among Mexican-American children at high risk for developing diabetes, a school-
based prevention program led to statistically significant increases in fitness levels
and reductions in fasting glucose levels, researchers report.
In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, September 2004
Source: Reuters Health, 17 September 2004

Exercise, diet cut diabetes risk in sedentary men
Vigorous exercise reduces the risk of diabetes among overweight, sedentary men,
study findings suggest. And if these men reduce the amount of calories they
consume each day, their diabetes risk drops even further.
"Taking up regular exercise, improving diet and losing weight are simple ways of
preventing diabetes," study author Dr. Kay L. Cox, of the University of Western
Australia told Reuters Health.
In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2004
Source: Reuters Health, 17 Sep 2004

Eating habits improve with age, says study
Adults eat twice as many fruits and vegetables as they did when they were
children and take in less fat and sugar, according to a new study.
But, a third of participants in the study said busy lifestyles meant they couldn't
prepare healthy meals.
In: Appetite, 2004
Source: Reuters Health, 17 Sep 2004

Government 'gets tough' on sugar
UK Head of Health Improvement and Improvement, Ms Sharp said: "Sugar is
next, once the present campaign on salt is over, we will be looking at a campaign
to reduce the amount of sugar people are eating."
The campaigns aim to cut obesity and its related health problems.
Source: BBC news, 17 September 2004

International – Soft drink consumption study

US Soft Drink Consumption Grew 135% Since 1977, Boosting Obesity
 One of the simpler ways to curtail the obesity epidemic could be to cut the
volume of sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks Americans are increasingly
consuming, authors of new study say.
In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Source: University of North Carolina press release, 16 September 2004

U.S. Soft Drink Consumption Soars,
Source: CBS news, Sept 2004

Soda Fueling Obesity Epidemic
Source: CBS news 21 September 2004

US Soft Drink Consumption Grew 135% Since 1977, Boosting Obesity
One of the simpler ways to curtail the obesity epidemic could be to cut the
volume of sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks Americans are increasingly
Source: Science Daily, 17 September 2004

International – European food labelling project

Food policies to fight obesity rise, EU investigation
―The European Commission is funding a project to find out how food labelling and
advertising policies could be used to stem the rapid rise of obesity in many
member states. In Finland some firms use a ‗traffic light‘ system with food
labelling to allow consumers to identify healthy ‗green‘ foods and ‗red‘ bad foods.
Other nations are in favour of subsidising healthy food and increasing taxes on
unhealthy food but this has met with significant opposition from the food
industry. The new project, called Porgrow, is being led by Dr Erik Millstone from
the University of Sussex in the UK.‖.
Source: Nutra Ingredients, 17 September 2004

Project to find out how European governments could fight obesity
Source: News Medical, 20 September 2004

International – Other

School cafeterias join fight against obesity in children
 Tips on what the cafeterias are doing to prepare healthier food
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 18 September 2004

Food labeling could be key to fighting obesity
Trade bodies in the US food industry yesterday joined forces to express their
agreement that the nutritional information on food packaging can play a key role
in addressing obesity.
Source: NutraUSA, 16 September 2004
Doctors urge tax break on sports
Tax relief should be offered on sports activities in efforts to combat the rise in
obesity, doctors said today.
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) called on the government to take action on
obesity by making exercise affordable and accessible to everybody.
They also said that healthier foods should be available in schools to tackle weight
problems among youngsters.
BBC News, 16 September 2004

Doctors call for tax relief on exercise to tackle obesity
Source: Guardian, 16 September 2004

American Time Use Survey
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the new American Time Use Survey
(ATUS) this week. It measures the amount of time people spend doing various
activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, commuting, and socialising.
Data on physical activity and television/computer time are included. Survey
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 Sep 2004

New insights into the field of children and adolescents' obesity: the
European perspective (Medline abstract)
CE Flodmark, I Lissau, LA Moreno, A Pietrobelli, and K Widhalm
A position paper from The European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG) that
outlines the nature of the problem of childhood obesity along with treatment and
prevention methods available today
Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord, October 1, 2004; 28(10): 1189-96.

The fitness, obesity, and health equation: is physical activity the common
First paragraphs of the article.
SN Blair and TS Church
In: JAMA, Sep 2004; 292(10): 1232-4. (Subscription required)

Health-enhancing physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children
and adolescents (Abstract)
Stuart Biddle; Trish Gorely; David Stensel
Provides a wide-ranging review of health-related physical activity in children and
adolescents using a behavioural epidemiology framework. A review of the
prevalence of physical activity and sedentary behaviours shows that many young
people are active, but this declines with age. A substantial number are not
adequately active for health benefits and current trends in juvenile obesity are a
cause for concern. Prevalence data on sedentary behaviours are less extensive
but suggest that total media use by young people has not changed greatly in
recent years.
J Sports Sci, Aug 2004; 22(8): 679-701

Expanding food portions contribute to overweight and obesity.
K Sitzman
In: AAOHN J, Aug 2004; 52(8): 356 (Subscription required)

Participation in High School Physical Education --- United States, 1991--
US report, based on data from the 1991-2003 national Youth Risk Behavior
Surveys (YRBS). Reveals that, overall, the percentage of high school students
attending daily physical education (PE) classes declined significantly from 1991
(42%) to 1995 (25%), then remained stable from 1995 to 2003 (28%). The
percentage of students enrolled in PE (56% in 2003) and the percentage of
students physically active more than 20 minutes in PE classes 3 to 5 days per
week (39% in 2003) did not change significantly during 1991 to 2003.
Source: MMWR Vol. 53 / No. 36, 17 September 2004

GMA Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Obesity Solutions
Grocery Manufacturers of America press release regarding the statement by its
Director of Scientific and Nutrition Policy regarding her testimony before the
House Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness
Source: U.S. Newswire (press release), DC - 15 Sep 2004

Obesity Linked To Nine Cancers
Being overweight is now being linked to nine potentially deadly cancers.
New research has now linked fat to an increased risk for developing cancer in the
colon, breast, uterus, kidney, esophagus, pancreas, gall bladder, liver and top of
the stomach.
Source: NBC, 14 September 2004

McDonald's on the ball in PR battle
McDonald's is funding the training of 10,000 UK community football coaches.
Source: The Guardian, 13 September 2004

International – New Jersey legislation banning junk food from schools

Bill would ban 'junk food' from schools
"Junk food" from candy bars to soda would be prohibited from all public
elementary and middle schools in the state under legislation approved by an
Assembly committee in New Jersey, US.
The bill would ban the sale of foods that are defined as having minimal nutritional
value by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from being sold until 30 minutes
after the end of the school day. Schools would only be allowed to have vending
machines that sell whole grain foods, juice, water, milk and similar products
available during the school day.
Source: Yahoo news, 15 September 2004

Sale of junk food to be banned from schools
Soda, many kinds of candy and fatty snacks like chips would no longer be sold at
New Jersey schools under a proposal announced Thursday by Gov. James E.
Source:, 23 September 2004

The junk food breakout
A UK city school has scrapped its morning break to stop children climbing over
the school fence to buy crisps and fizzy drinks
Source: Leicester Mercury, 13 September 2004

Call for cut-price fruit and veg
Over 80% of people say the UK government should subsidise the cost of fruit and
vegetables to encourage healthy eating, a BBC survey has suggested.
Source: BBC news, 9 September 2004

International – fitness v fatness

Low fitness may outweigh obesity as heart risk
Staying fit may be more important than staying trim for a woman's risk of heart
disease -- but the opposite appears true when it comes to diabetes, according to
two studies in JAMA., 8 Sep 2004.
Source: Reuters Health, 7 September 2004

Two key studies on obesity settle ... nothing
Both sides in fit vs fat argument can cite new evidence to back up claims.
One study of women who have heart disease showed that those who exercised
regularly improved their health considerably more than those who did not --
better, then, to be fit and fat than to be a rail-thin couch potato.
A second study, published side-by-side with the first one in yesterday's Journal of
the American Medical Association, suggested a completely opposite result, that
it's better to be thin than fit.
Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA - 9 Sep 2004

Obesity debate: Thin down or get fit?
Same as above article but has a side-panel summary of the research.
Source: Houston Chronicle, TX - 13 Sep 2004

International – Other

Super Size Nation: America’s Obesity Crisis
A series of articles is publishing an occasional series on the nation's obesity crisis
and how people in the Northwest are affected
Source: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 8 September 2004 -

Teachers call for junk food ad ban
UK Teachers have called for a ban on junk food advertising aimed at children and
warned that they could not reverse young people's unhealthy eating habits alone,
as the government put schools at the heart of its plans to tackle childhood
Source: Guardian, 6 September 2004

International – UK school meals programme

HDA welcomes healthier school meals
Paul Streets, chief executive, Health Development Agency said: ‗We welcome
announcement that the government aims to address the problem of obesity
among our children by developing a programme so that every school will become
a healthy one.
Source: HDA press release, 6 September2004

Healthier meals on the way for school canteens
UK School meals are to receive a radical makeover in an attempt to cut levels of
salt, sugar and saturated fat and stem rising obesity in children. It is as part of
the national Healthy Living Blueprint in which schools will be encouraged to work
more closely with parents in helping youngsters to eat sensibly and adopt
healthier lifestyles.
Source: The Guardian, 6 September 2004

Health check for school lunches
UK school meals are to undergo a major government review in an attempt to
tackle childhood obesity.
Source: BBC News, 5 September 2004

All primary schools to open for 10-hour day - UK
Every primary school in the country will eventually open from 8am to 6pm in a
bid to help working parents and boost pupils' health by providing good food and
Source: The Guardian, 5 September 2004
Child lunchboxes short on fruit and vegetables
UK parents are packing their children‘s school lunchboxes with unhealthy
amounts of salt, fat and sugar, according to the Food Standards Agency‘s second
school lunchbox survey.
Source: Public Health news, 3 Sep 2004

International – Australian study on children and sport

Australian Sports Commission tackles children’s inactivity
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) today welcomed a new study into the
factors influencing young people‘s involvement in sport and physical activity,
conducted for the ASC by the University of South Australia.
The study ‗Children and Sport‘ found that the median daily time devoted to sport
was just 35 minutes a day and that over half of all children aged 5-14 years are
spending more time watching television and videos than in the school classroom.
‗The overwhelming competitor for physical activity is screen time – television,
video games, cinema and texting‘. The Study was funded by Coca Cola Australia.
Source: ASC press release, 2 September 2004

Children and Sport,
Australian Sports Commission, 2004

Health studies increasingly funded by food companies
Public health and obesity experts are getting increasingly worried about the
number of studies being funded by food and beverage companies. A report
conducted for the Australian Sports Commission, and funded by Coca Cola, found
that children's obesity was more likely to be linked with declining physical activity
than diet. But leading public health physicians say there's not enough evidence
to say that, and that there's an ethical problem accepting funding from a soft
drink company.
Source: ABC Online. PM transcript, 6 September 2004

Food study under fire over Coke (Registation needed)
A Federal Government study on children's exercise habits has been compromised
by Coca-Cola's sponsorship of the research, obesity experts say. The report, titled
Children and Sport: An Overview, attempted to identify the factors most
influencing children's activity and involvement in sport.
Source: The Age, 3 September 2004

Drink company's obesity study outrages experts (Registration needed)
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September 2004

Children with sole parent 'less active' (Registration needed)
Children who live in single-parent households do not have as much opportunity
for physical activity as children who live with both parents, a report for the
Federal Government reveals.Source: The Age, 2 September 2004

International – American Journal of Public Health special issue

American Journal of Public Health, 94 (9), 1 September 2004
Special issue on obesity. Includes the editor‘s choice, the editorial, two articles
on the burden of obesity and four articles addressing childhood obesity.
Source: American Journal of Public Health, 94 (9) Sep 2004

Increase gym time to combat obesity in girls: study
A new report suggests a simple strategy for combating obesity among young girls
-- increasing their gym time.
In: American Journal of Public Health, September 2004
Source: Reuters Health, 1 September 2004

Childhood obesity in new York city elementary school students
LE Thorpe, DG List, T Marx, L May, SD Helgerson, and TR Frieden
In: Am J Public Health 1 Sep 2004 94(9): p. 1496.

Study finds obesity in New York City children
US city kids, like their country cousins, are struggling with weight problems, U.S.
researchers reported on Monday.
In: American Journal of Public Health, September 2004
Source: Reuters Health, 30 August 2004

Rand study finds modest increase in physical education can help cut
number of overweight young girls
Increasing physical education instruction in kindergarten and first grade by as
little as one hour per week could reduce the number of overweight 5- and 6-year-
old girls nationally by as much as 10 percent, according to a RAND Corporation
study issued today.
In: American Journal of Public Health, September 2004
Source: Rand Organisation press release, 27 August 2004

New Research Shows More Physical Education Time Sharply Reduces
Overweight in Children
Being Overweight Also Has Implications for Behaviour and Academic Performance
New research finds even one additional hour per week of Physical Education (PE)
for five and six year olds, especially girls, can make a significant difference in
addressing the incidence of childhood overweight
Source: NIHCM Foundation news release, 27 August 2004

Obesity in Young Children: Impact and Intervention PDF
Summarises three studies by RAND Health on the relationship of overweight to
school performance, behaviour problems, and physical education in kindergarten
and first grade. It also highlights the health and economic implications of
childhood obesity and public initiatives to address the issue.
NIHCM Foundation, August 2004

Physical education in elementary school and body mass index: evidence
from the early childhood longitudinal study (Abstract).
A Datar and R Sturm
Examines the effect of physical education instruction time on body mass index
(BMI) change in elementary school. Concludes that expanding physical education
programmes in schools, in the form in which they currently exist, may be an
effective intervention for combating obesity in the early years, especially among
In: Am J Public Health, Sep 2004; 94(9): 1501-6.

International - Other

Forget 'hour glass' women and sleek men - flab is making us tube shaped
Scientists used scanners to measure 11,000 people and found obesity is changing
the contours of the nation. The results of the first UK National Sizing Survey
reveal that average measurements around women's midriffs have increased by
6.5in (16.5cm) in a little over 50 years while men‘s middles have increased by a
similar proportion.
Source: The Guardian, 2 September 2004
XL: the shape of things to come
Size UK, a collaboration between retailers, the Department of Trade and Industry
and academics, used a three-dimensional body-scanning system to compile
statistics on the weight and height of UK adults and compares them to average
sizes 50 years ago.
Source: The Guardian, 1 September 2004

Physical Inactivity is the Primary Culprit
In our ongoing battle to make quality, daily physical education a reality for kids,
we often have to deal with a number of misnomers. One of the most prominent is
the statement that we‘re in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic. It‘s much
more accurate to say we‘re in the midst of a physical inactivity epidemic.
Cites recent research by leading academics.
Source: From the President. PE4Life Newsletter, Sep 2004

Parental overweight, socioeconomic status and high birth weight are the
major determinants of overweight and obesity in 5-7year old children:
baseline data of the Kiel Obesity Prevention Study (KOPS) (Abstract)
S Danielzik, M Czerwinski-Mast, K Langnase, B Dilba, and M J Muller
In: Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 24 Aug 2004.

Sugar-sweetened soft drinks, obesity, and type 2 diabetes (Abstract)
In: JAMA 25 Aug 2004 292(8): p. 978.

Relation between physical activity and energy expenditure in a
representative sample of young children (Abstract)
Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Sep 2004; 80(3): 591-6.

Sugar warning on fizzy drinks
Cans and bottles of sugar-sweetened colas, lemonade and fruit drinks, which
many people think can be drunk with impunity, are today implicated as a major
cause of obesity and linked to a rise in diabetes by scientists in the United States.
Source: The Guardian, 25 August 2004

UK’s NIH Releases Research Strategy to Fight Obesity Epidemic
NIH Director Elias M. Zerhouni, M.D., today announced the release of the final
version of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research, a multi-dimensional
research agenda to enhance both the development of new research in areas of
greatest scientific opportunity and the coordination of obesity research across
NIH. The report is on the web at
Source: National Institute of Health (US) press release, 24 August 2004

Compiled by Robin White
Secretary / Treasurer
PO Box 13-148, Wellington New Zealand

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