Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fatten Down the Hatches

In a study released yesterday by the Trust for America's Health, we are once again reminded that Americans are getting fatter-and our children are particularly at risk. In New York City, the survey found that 22.4% of New York's adults were considered to be obese-a number that rises over 50% when we include overweight as a category.

In the NY Sun story this morning, it was also pointed out that 43% of city elementary school children are overweight and, as Dr. Lous Aronne of New York Presbyterian Hospital told the paper; "Telling people to eat less and exercise more hasn't worked." Jeffrey Levi, the executive director of the health organization told the NY Post that, "Kids aren't running out to play after school as they used to...They're spending more time in front of the computer screen."

Which is precisely why the Health Corps initiative spearheaded by Councilman Rivera, is so important. We need to break the current cycle but, as HC founder Dr. Mehmet Oz wrote last week in the NY Daily News, "What it takes, however, is a change of attitudes and lifestyles, and this is no simple matter."

It is the mission of the Health Corps to do just that. Now placed in 28 NYC high schools, the HC is going out to alter the current trends among our young by inculcating a different mindset; and through education and inspiration the goal is to instill this healthier lifestyle in a new generation of kids. The crisis is severe and if we don't do something our entire health system will implode in the not so distant future.