childhood obesity

Giving Kids Junk Food “Treat Bags” for Standardized Testing?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 7, 2014

This morning I belatedly opened an email from my son’s middle school, which last week asked parents to donate items for “treat bags” for the 6th graders taking our district’s standardized tests. Here’s what volunteers were asked to bring:  Goldfish, Blow Pops, peppermint candies, Hershey’s kisses, bite-size Snickers, 100-calorie packs of cookies, Starburst candies, clementines […]


Did Obesity Really Drop 43% Among Young Children?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 18, 2014

Hat tip to Dana Woldow for sharing with me a new Reuters article casting doubt on a recent, much-heralded study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (summarized on TLT) which had found a 43% drop in obesity among children ages 2 to 5 over an eight year period. According to the obesity experts […]


Study: Early Childhood Obesity Drops 43%

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 26, 2014

By now you may have heard about surprising and welcome results from a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found a 43% drop in childhood obesity among American children aged 2 to 5.    In 2012, about 8%  of 2- to 5-year-olds were obese, decreasing from a rate of 14% in […]


One Mom’s Great Idea Brings Fresh Produce to Families in Need

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 6, 2014

A mutual friend recently introduced me to a woman named Lisa Helfman and, given our very similar backgrounds (Houston moms/lawyers with an interest in kids and food), it wasn’t surprising that we hit it off right away.  At that first meeting, Lisa told me how years ago she’d  joined an organic produce co-op and was […]

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Good Reads: A Friday Link Round-Up

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 31, 2014

There’s so much news out there that I’m closing out the week with a link round-up – enjoy! School District Dumps Non-Paying Kids’ Meals A school district in Utah received a lot of negative attention this week for forcing students with negative lunch card balances to toss their meals in the trash.  While this district’s […]


Mr. Zee = The New Birthday Cupcake?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 15, 2014

My kids are in middle school now, which means we’ve mercifully moved past the annual dilemma of what to bring to class to celebrate their birthdays.  But for a long time, the topic of classroom birthday cupcakes loomed large on this blog.  Over the years, I’ve shared with you: My utter hypocrisy in quietly bringing […]


While this blog was dominated by the discussion of Chinese-processed chicken in school meals, a lot has been going on in the kid-and-food-news world.  Here’s a quick roundup to keep you up to speed. First Lady Addresses Problem of Junk Food Marketing to Kids On September 19th, Michelle Obama convened a landmark summit at the […]


Sugar for Salad Bars? A Bit of Irony at Whole Foods

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 9, 2013

Last week I had to dash into a Whole Foods at 6:00pm to grab items for that night’s dinner — with two famished kids in tow. (If you’re a parent, you know how fun that scenario can be.) As soon as we entered the store we were greeted by a friendly Whole Foods employee offering […]


The USDA earned praise this past June when it released its ground-breaking new rules for “competitive” school food – the snacks and beverages offered to students through school stores, snack bars, vending machines and other outlets. But it might surprise readers to know that my adopted home state of Texas, a place hardly known for its progressive policies, is […]


Did Changes to W.I.C. Cause the Recent Drop in Childhood Obesity?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 13, 2013

Last week I shared on TLT’s Facebook page and  Twitter feed news of a Center for Disease Control report finding that rates of childhood obesity among low-income children have fallen modestly in 19 states between the years 2008-2011, the first such decline after years of rising obesity. I noted last week that we don’t know exactly why this reversal occurred, but New […]