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Prudent Ways to Fight Childhood Obesity

Coverage from The New York Times’ Well blogIllustration of person sitting on the couch playing video games with snacks and soda on the coffee table on the CHOICES project and initial results:

Pardon the cliché, but it happens to be particularly apt in this case: In trying to tame the nation’s obesity epidemic, an ounce of prevention is decidedly worth a pound of cure — considerably more than a pound, in fact, according to the findings of a five-year collaborative research project.

Not only can several popular strategies help children achieve and maintain a normal weight and, in the future, reduce adult obesity, they can also save the country many health care dollars and, in a few cases, generate revenue to support further weight control efforts.

The time is long overdue for legislators, schools, policy wonks and parents to deal more effectively with what is clearly one of the nation’s most costly health care problems.

In the meantime, parents and other adults who influence young lives can adopt the techniques found most likely to keep children lean and healthy and extend those benefits well into their adult years. For families as well as institutions, the dollar and health savings can be significant…[read the full article]