Health

One-third of kids are obese before kindergarten? Oy.

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Illustration: Kristian Hammerstad

In 1985, America first experienced the Truffle Shuffle. The movie was The Goonies, the shuffler was a character named Chunk, and the gag was a fat kid shaking it with gusto. But you put that kid next to most of his peers today and you’d wonder why Spielberg called him Chunk at all. Times and waistlines have changed since the ’80s, illustrated by a recent study of Nevada children about to start public school. After surveying the state’s 17 districts over three years, UNLV’s Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy reported that more than a third of kids are obese before they enter kindergarten. Guess we can stop blaming the cafeteria burritos and vending machines. If a human body that is rapidly growing and burning calories can get that out of control that fast, we need to take action even faster, and not just for health reasons. UNLV’s report states: “Academic achievement for children is vital to their success in life. Those that do well in school have greater opportunities for post-secondary education, and later have better prospects for employment. One of the major factors that can affect a child’s academic achievement is his or her health status.” Food for thought …

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