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Parents: The Weakest Link in the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Children are influenced in good ways and, especially, bad ones by their parents. So, it should come as no surprise, nutritional experts believe, as I do, controlling the childhood obesity epidemic depends on the parental guidance -- or lack of it -- kids receive at home, based, in part, on a report released today by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

No wonder, considering so many time-starved young parents have grown up in a fast-food world and are passing their bad habits along to their children, experts say. Nevertheless, the IOM report spreads the blame around among government, industry, media, communities, schools and the home environment.

You'd think that knowledge would make parents more aware about all the outside influences, including TV that conspire to keep kids obese, but it doesn't, according to one expert and a mother of three daughters. Perhaps, one quote sums it up the best: All of us need to do something about it. When it comes to (obesity), we cannot put a Band-Aid on it anymore.

Again, don't expect your government to do anything about the obesity epidemic, especially in your home. But there are things you can do today to make your child's transition to better eating habits an easier one:

Institute of Medicine September 13, 2006 Free PDF Brief

USA Today September 13, 2006

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