How in the world did we get here?
The current news reports are startling: over the past 30 years, childhood obesity in America has tripled. Put differently, one in three youngsters in this country are overweight or obese — a springboard to diabetes.
Many factors play into this alarming statistic. Today, children have a different lifestyle. Instead of physical activity, after-school hours are spent on a cellphone or playing video games. Also, in the past, fast food was rare and snacking between meals was an occasional treat. This has changed in recent years. Kids are having three snacks a day while food-and-drink portions have exploded.
How our client promotes childhood wellness
Recently, STC has been closely involved with creating the website and collateral for the launch of Dr. Mark Hyman’s new book, The Blood Sugar Solution, 10-Day Detox Diet which appeared on The New York Times best-seller list.
Hyman, who is the medical director of the UltraWellness Center, focuses on childhood obesity and notes that, as a result, “one in three children born today will have diabetes in their lifetime.” He adds, “While The Blood Sugar Solution is a program for adults it also works very well for children.”
How an innovator focuses on a solution
In January, 2013, Sir Richard Branson, the flamboyant English billionaire who is best known as the founder of the Virgin Group (400 companies) invited Hyman and others to spend a week on his private island in the Caribbean. A group of 20 handpicked entrepreneurs came from all over the world to attend this activity-packed week.
Underlying the sun and surf aspect were serious discussions between Branson and Hyman concerning childhood obesity and overcoming Type-2 diabetes. Or, as Hyman says, “After a long book tour I took a break on Necker Island. We worked on a plan for a study to prove Type-2 diabetes can be reversed. Food is where it all comes together. The problems are global, but the solution is as local as your fork.”
Heading for a healthier future
Lifestyle changes must be made. It’s easy to blame the fast food restaurants and the $4.6 billion they spend on advertising. Even so, a Yale study entitled Fast Food Facts 2013 has noted that recently there have been positive steps taken in this industry. McDonald’s changed its Happy Meals to include a smaller serving of French fries, as well as 1% milk and apple slices. The change has cut the total calorie intake by 104 calories.
Going forward: change starts at the top
President Obama has signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the first-ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity and Michelle Obama has launched Let’s Move, a comprehensive program that is dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation.
Focusing on the growing problem of child obesity in America — if approached from many different marketing initiatives is making progress — slowly but surely.
- 90% of American children and teenagers drink soda every day
- One has to walk 4 1/2 miles to burn one 20 oz. soda
- Nearly 70% of Americans and 1.5 billion worldwide are overweight
- Americans are consuming 152 lbs. of sugar a year