Yes, the stats about the numbers of children and adolescents who are overweight (and obese) are glum. And these stats are often topped off with the dismal fact that today’s generation of children are on the road to a shorter life expectancy than recent generations due to obesity, poor eating habits and limited physical activity.
According to a heart warming article in the Washington Post (2/5/09) the new USDA Secretary - Tom Vilsack, is taking a broad view of his goals and roles at USDA. He is talking of his interest in more nutritious foods in schools, more fruits and vegetables for WIC recipients and the importance of educating school administrators, parents and children about the importance of healthy eating and nutritious foods.
On 1/20/09 I had the opportunity to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama. I am hopeful because I believe there are signs and symptoms that we are moving in positive directions in the areas of making healthier foods more readily available, making it easier to eat healthy and placing at least some focus and energy on preventing chronic diseases. Yes, recognizing once again that healthy eating and health are integrally interwoven!
With all the conversation about the need for health care reform, there are no better places to focus our efforts and energy than on the prevention and better management of diabetes by supporting people's and society's work on living healthier lifestyles. Both obesity, often the predecessor to pre- and type 2 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes eat up a massive piece of the healthcare dollar pie. A focus on prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes could offer us big benefits for our bucks!