Walk to School Not a ‘Simple Answer’ to Childhood Obesity, Press-Enterprise States
A new CDC report that in part attributes the low rate of U.S. children who walk to school to the nation's childhood obesity problem "takes a swing and a miss at a public health issue," according to a Riverside Press-Enterprise editorial. Although walking or biking to school appears to provide a "great way to get a little more exercise into these young lives," the editorial states that the report has a number of problems, such as backpack weight. According to the editorial, children often carry 15% to 25% of their bodyweight in backpacks filled with "big, bulky, cinderblock-class textbooks," which can lead to back injuries. The editorial states that the "health problems that most parents worry about are back injuries, not lack of exercise." The editorial concludes, "The issue of youth fitness is a complicated one. But the same can be said for this one little slice of it. Getting more kids to walk to school isn't a simple answer to the problem" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/19).
A San Francisco Chronicle editorial states that proposals by state lawmakers to address the state's childhood obesity "epidemic" do not "reflect the urgency of the problem." Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) proposed a bill (SB 1520) that would have banned the sale of soda in the state's schools within five years, but the legislation failed in committee. In addition, a bill (SB 1868) proposed by Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Martinez) and second bill (AB 1793) proposed by Assembly member Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) call for the state to improve physical education. The editorial concludes, "Neither one does as much as it could to address the problem of childhood obesity, but at least they're steps in the right direction" (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.