Obesity

Tipping The Scales: Examining Obesity in New Hampshire

Nicole McCracken

State health officials say a survey shows there’s progress being made in the battle against childhood obesity in New Hampshire.

A statewide survey that tracked the actual weights of third-graders finds obesity rates have dropped by a whopping 30 percent since 2008.

Director of Public Health José Montero says when he saw the numbers, he recalculated them all himself to make sure there wasn’t a mistake.

He says they’re correct, and mark a tremendous step forward in childhood health.

Jack Rodolico

New immigrants often face an unexpected challenge: how to navigate away from an American diet that takes a toll on your health? That’s becoming easier in New Hampshire due to a network of markets and farms that carry familiar foods for the state’s foreign residents.

New Hampshire is home to a small but growing immigrant population; about one in 20 Granite Staters are foreign born. And there’s an experience that unites many of them: that bewildering first visit to an American grocery store.

via Bill & Vicki T. - flickr Creative Commons

During the Depression, the face of hunger was easy to spot: gaunt, worn, and hollow-eyed. Today’s malnourished are tougher to spot. We’ll get a close up of the new face of American hunger. Plus, over 46 million Americans are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The average daily benefit per person per day is four dollars. We’ll find out what living on a SNAP budget really looks like. And, how is America’s sweet tooth may be rooted in Prohibition?

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


Melissa Wiese / Flickr/CC

Diabetes has been called “the chronic epidemic of the millennium.” Our panel looks at why this is so, changes in management of this disease, and promising research in the field.

GUESTS:

Good News About Childhood Obesity

Mar 11, 2014
Healthnewsnet / Flickr Creative Commons

Starting in the 1980s, public health experts began sounding the alarm: Americans were getting way too heavy.  And of special concern: children, and the particular impact of obesity on them: increased risk for both short and long term ailments such as heart disease, type two diabetes, and a host of social and psychological problems.  Today, it’s been 30 years, and childhood obesity rates have doubled since those first warnings, with doctors saying this problem early in life also closely predicts whether a child will have a healthy weight into adulthood, and a five times greater chance of bei

An elementary school in Nashua is reminding parents and students that playing "tag" violates the school's longtime "no contact" rule for recess games.

ratterrel via Flickr Creative Commons

With more than a third of Americans classified as obese, behavioral scientists are experimenting with ways to ‘nudge’ grocery shoppers away from the chips and dip aisle and into the produce section.

Michael Moss is investigative reporter for the New York Times and winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. He wrote about research going on in American Supermarkets. 

Part of the effort to curb child obesity in the US has been to rethink vending machines – in particular, those offering sugary drinks at schools. The theory is that students make healthier choices when they have healthier options in front of them.

And new research from Dartmouth College shows the contents of those machines are changing – less sugar, more bottled water. But not every school is changing in the same way.

Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to ban super-sized sugary drinks in New York City was thwarted by a judge recently, but he plans to appeal. Its brought up the question, once again, of how much of a role should government play in the fight against obesity. Supporters of this approach say it's such a serious problem that government needs to get involved, but others say these efforts amount to a nanny state and that personal responsibility is the best approach.

Guests

elmachuca via Flickr Creative Commons

You know those individually wrapped chocolates that you find in office candy jars and Halloween sacks ?  Turns out, the troublesome need to unwrap chocolates makes them hard to eat in certain settings, like the car, which is why some years back, Hershey released Reese’s Minis, small, resealable bags of candy designed to be snarfed on the go.

Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to ban super-sized sugary drinks in New York City was thwarted by a judge recently, but he plans to appeal.  Its brought up the question, once again, of how much of a role should government play in the fight against obesity. Supporters of this approach say it's such a serious problem that government needs to get involved, but others say these efforts amount to a nanny state and  that personal responsibility is the best approach.

Guests

Study: Childhood Obesity Rates Decline In N.H.

Jan 14, 2013

For the first time in recent years, obesity rates have gone down in New Hampshire children. The Centers for Disease Control’s first national study on childhood obesity finds that 14.2 percent of preschool-age children in the state are obese, down from 15.6 percent in 2003.

José Montero, Director of Public Health Services at the New Hampshire Department Of Health and Human Services, sees the decline as modest, but encouraging.

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

The best and brightest segments from our daily program.

Sidereal via Flickr Creative Commons

The slew of recent articles on obesity are nearly unanimous in agreement that there is a health crisis in the United States. Dr. Abigail Saguy, UCLA sociologist, takes a different perspective, saying there is no such medical consensus around the need to lose weight. In her latest book, she argues that our negative association with obesity is a deliberately framed viewpoint—and not necessarily a healthy one.

N.H. Ranks Third In Overall Health

Dec 11, 2012

A new report from the Minnesota-based United Health Foundation ranks New Hampshire the third healthiest state in the nation.  That’s down a spot from last year. The report weights a variety of factors, including infant mortality, obesity, high school graduation rate and levels of violent crime.  Vermont ranked first in the nation for the sixth straight year.

Obesity is on the rise here in New  Hampshire, a recent study finds that the U.S. population is gaining too much weight. New Hampshire's numbers are also increasing, with about 26% of Granite Staters now considered obese. Its also predicted that by the year 2030, more than half of this state's population will be obese. Today we'll look at this study and see what can be done to tip the scales in the opposite direction.

Guests

Any parent can tell you that sweet foods are an easier sell to kids than, say, sprouts or salad. But with more than a quarter of New Hampshire struggling with obesity, researchers at Keene State College are working on innovative ways to get children as young as three years old hooked on vegetables.

Study Finds 26.2% of New Hampshire Adults Obese

Sep 18, 2012
foshydog / Flickr/Creative Commons

A national study released today ranks New Hampshire the 17th slimmest state. 

The 'F as in Fatreport is produced by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It finds that last year, 26.2% of Granite Staters were obese, up slightly from 2010 figures.

The study also found that more than 12% of high school students in New Hampshire are obese.

Powerplantop via Flickr Creative Commons

Since spring of this year, our Shifting the Balance series has explored how environmental and social factors affect the way people eat…and how those factors play in to America’s obesity epidemic.  A recently published study in Pyschology reports demonstrates how setting the right mood at meal time can help diners cap their calories. 

School Lunch Gets the Chef Treatment

Sep 5, 2012
Elaine Grant for NHPR

If packing a lunch is a bit too daunting, never fear, at least not if you're the parent of a Souhegan High School Student. As part of our series Shifting the Balance, Elaine Grant got the skinny on their new, chef-inspired lunch program. (Check out the menu!)

WiscDeptNatlResources / Flickr/Creative Commons

The idea for doubling the value of food stamps at farmer’s markets came to Gus Schumacher in 1980. He was in Boston helping his brother, a farmer, clean up at the end of the day.

"I was packing up a box of pears at the Dorchester Fields Corner Farmer’s Market. And the box fell apart, and all the pears went into the gutter."

Schumacher figured he’d have to throw away the pears.

(Photo by rodab0B via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced with Emma Ruddock

Jenni from the block/FlickR

Faced with a serious problem with overweight children two unusual partners are literally trying a new prescription in the North Country – and they don’t see any reason it couldn’t work statewide.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

 

South of children playing….

That’s a sound healthcare professionals would like to hear more often: Kids outdoors running and jumping and generally goofing around.

 Just like the good old days before the sedentary seduction of video games and television.

Getting Sour on Sugar

Jun 5, 2012

This most ubiquitous and irresistible of foods has also been called addictive and toxic and has been linked with obesity, diabetes, and, recently, memory loss. Some are calling for regulating sugar  as if it were tobacco. But others say it is intrinsic to our very survival as a species, found even in breast milk and that demonizing or shunning sugar is the wrong course. 

Guests

Ethan Hein / Flickr Creative Commons

Thanks to growing awareness of a national obesity epidemic, and the lowering of complication rates since its introduction in the 1960s, gastric bypass procedures have become an increasingly popular treatment option for the morbidly obese.  At least 200,000 people signed up last year in the U.S. alone. 

Karlton Hill was only 12 years old when when he found out he had diabetes. Even though he was only in seventh grade, Karlton knew what diabetes was; he had watched the disease destroy his great-grandmother's life.

"I was really upset. I cried," he says. "I didn't want any of this to happen to me. I was like, 'Why is this happening to me?' "

Public health experts have been worrying for years that the obesity epidemic would lead to an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes among kids.

Widespread obesity among Native Americans has led to spiking diabetes rates among young people in the current generation. The phenomenon partially blamed on the lack of access to healthy food on reservations. Edible Idaho’s Guy Hand recently looked at what a food coalition on the coeur d'alene reservation of North Idaho is doing to connect the people there to better eating, starting with their nutrient-rich roots. 

Today’s report from the USDA’s economic research service upends the notion that healthy food options are more expensive for consumers than sweet and fatty junk-foods. The report points out that price depends on how you measure it. When factored by calorie, a chocolate doughnut will often cost more than a tomato.

Price is the chief concern of Hank Cardello

Health Options at Tropical Food Market

Most people know how we should be eating: more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, fewer candies, fats, and calories. But putting that into practice can be tough.

When you walk into the convenience store and a bag of potatoes chips is a dollar, and a salad is six, which are you going to buy?

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fecked-up_art/3300169247/in/photostream/" target="blank">feck_aRt_Post</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

You’re at the gym, working up a sweat, burning some calories, getting that metabolism in gear… and then the workout ends and you’re looking for quick refreshment. Grabbing a candy bar or a sugary soda from the vending machine can feel like you’re undoing all your exercise.

Pages