DiscoverThe DailyAn Aggressive New Approach to Childhood Obesity
An Aggressive New Approach to Childhood Obesity

An Aggressive New Approach to Childhood Obesity

Update: 2023-01-2610


Recent advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a bold approach to treating the millions of children in the United States who are affected by obesity. Counseling, drug treatment and even surgery should be considered, the group says.

The guidelines are a response to a deeper understanding of what obesity is — and what to do about it.

Guest: Gina Kolata, a medical reporter for The New York Times.

Background reading: 

For more information on today’s episode, visit Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

Comments (4)

Joe A. Finley II

Literally listening to this GARBAGE podcast segment while going for a 1.5-mile run! Just curious where this segment was going to go with this endless debate and, I have to say, while my expectations were already pretty low based on all the Corporate Media commentary lately on the issue, they managed to go THROUGH THE FLOOR by the end of the segment! There is ZERO continuity: it begins by diving head-first into "solutions" of drugs, intense therapy and surgery, before switching unceremoniously to the "why" side, meandering from health to body positivity/"fat acceptance," to aesthetics to self esteem to public shaming of a child's parents. What?! WAY to many concepts--some of them contradictory--all crammed in together! And they're rattled off with all the matter-of-fact smugness and austerity of reading off charges to a defendant in a court room. "There is no hope," the segment commands--all the normal external factors have been "studied"--the food, the level of physical activity, the neighborhood, the schools, and the parents--"none" of that matters! It is all in the hands of doctors making swift, stern judgments that can "save" (North American) children! Let me break it down as an urbanist Progressive: a generation and a half of children in North America were raised in a suburban, ever-increasingly car-dependent environment which discouraged ANY form of active travel (walking, cycling, etc.) beyond recess in school and driving the kids to/from the gym and recreational facilities. This contrasts SHARPLY with our Western European counterparts, let alone the Netherlands, where the built environment--even in many suburbs--encourages walking and cycling, and the independence that comes with it, at a very young age. Look at a video like this,, and then tell me why children in the Netherlands are consistently the happiest, HEALTHIEST, most independent-minded in the world while their North American counterparts score very low marks in ALL of these areas! Do these kids need intensive counseling at age 2? No, they're learning how to ride a bike. Do they need bariatric surgery by the time they hit puberty? No, they're biking to a friend's house. For all we lament in North America about "kids not going out to play like the old days," far too much of both the built environment and helicopter parent mentality/fear of the "other" stifles that at literally and figuratively every corner.

Feb 14th


There was no mention of the possibility that foods in the US are packaged with preservatives and additives, and artificial sweeteners are messing with our brains. All of these things contribute to obesity.

Jan 26th


High PUFA Vegetable oils...

Jan 26th

Sarah Martin

So the NYT isn't going to talk about the high usage of barbiturates in the '50s, '60s, and '70s, that allowed women to be housemakers and get all of their stuff done, and keep off the weight? It was never just "oh let them play outside" it was also "give them half a pill in the morning and the weight will drop off". Reagan's "War on Drugs" outlawed barbiturates, and helped kick start the "Diet Culture" we see today. It's not just genetics, lady. And I've never been so disappointed in NYT reporting as I am today.

Jan 26th








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An Aggressive New Approach to Childhood Obesity

An Aggressive New Approach to Childhood Obesity

The New York Times