Obesity at a glance: 5 points for February

17 Feb

Of course Fat Tuesday would prompt more obesity news. The problem with America’s tendency to tip scales is that obesity’s so multifaceted. You can point a chubby finger at a myriad of causes for it, but the plain truth is that weight loss equals big bucks — even in tough times. Here are 5 items to come to the forefront in February. Eat them up.

Calories in Dunkin Donuts Bagels

So if you eat 3, that's only 1440 calories...

  • Peanut butter — who doesn’t love it? With two tablespoons weighing in at over approximately 180 calories, it begs the question, how do you measure that with a butter knife? Well, obviously no one’s really doing that. When it comes to serving sizes, the F.D.A. knows you’re confused. Possible solution? Fix packaging. The incongruity of serving sizes only confuses time-pressed shoppers who shy away from the simple math necessitated by nutrition labels.
  • Slashfood.com reported on the recently debuted food and exercise maps that chart things like proximity to fast food joints, sweetened beverages, and other county-level statistics that cushion the obesity epidemic. Access the Food Environment Atlas here.
  • Those nice maps support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, which seeks to fix childhood obesity in America. A related effort from the CDC, VERB, ran from 2002-2006, and sought to promote physical activity among youth aged 9-13.
  • Many people rely on everyday objects to eye up a serving. See how well you can with this serving size quiz I worked on last year for readersdigest.com. Note: It may error.
  • And lastly, who doesn’t ooh and aww over a chubby baby? I did with Johnathan, so much so that J. joked that my own future kids would be teeny-tiny. I sulked. Now, studies say the road to obesity begins before age 2, and sadly this sets the stage for chronic diseases and conditions, like diabetes and high cholesterol.
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