The IOM report on childhood obesity strategies

This comic strip* basically sums up exactly how I feel about obesity in America. I give out Milo’s advice (complete with sarcasm) to my friends all the time. In fact, my success with Weight Watchers’ Points system years ago is likely because it just forced me to, well, eat less and exercise more.

It sound so simple, and yet it’s so complicated. We keep trying to come up with fancy solutions to what is, in the end, just simple math.

I was pleased today to see the IOM’s release of its Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies:

The IOM reviewed factors related to overweight and obesity from birth to age five, with a focus on nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behavior. In this report, the IOM recommends actions that healthcare professionals, caregivers, and policymakers can take to prevent obesity in children five and younger. Pediatricians and other healthcare professionals have an important opportunity to make parents aware of their child’s excess weight early on, and the IOM recommends that healthcare professionals measure weight and height or length in a standardized way, as well as pay attention to obesity risk factors, such as rate of weight gain and parental weight, at routine pediatric visits. In addition, the IOM recommends that parents and child care providers keep children active throughout the day and provide them with diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. Caregivers also should limit young children’s screen time and ensure that children sleep an adequate amount each day. What happens to children during the first years of life is important to their current and future health and well-being.

What pleases me about this is that, once you wade through all the complicated language, it comes down to a few solid principles: Catch kids before it’s too late. Encourage them to eat better. Get them to be more active.

In essence: “Eat less, and exercise.” Let’s figure out how to get that done.

*If you don’t recognize this as Bloom County, then I pity you. You are unaware of one of the best comic strips of all time, and I suggest you go rectify that immediately.

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