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As Obesity Rises Down Under Aussies Push Exercise

Australia's government is giving an extra $21.3 billion to the country's schools, but students will have to sweat for their share. Schools get a slice of the package only if their students exercise at least two hours a week--a condition imposed as part of the government's push to fight childhood obesity.

Prime Minister John Howard seemed to be reversing his earlier stance on the problem of childhood obesity. Just last week, he said obesity should be dealt with by parents, not the government. The prime minister was responding to an opposition call to ban junk food advertising during children's TV programs. Researchers estimate that 23 percent of Australian children are overweight, while 6 percent of those are obese--more than triple the number a decade ago.

As I've said many times before, the reasons for childhood obesity are pretty simple:

  • Inactivity (watching television and playing video games rather than playing outside to get exercise)
  • Parents who don't acknowledge the problem

    Fortunately, obesity in children (and adults) can be prevented--and reversed.

    Yahoo News June 22, 2004

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