childhood obesity

Girl Scouts Under Fire for Lending Name to Sugary Drinks

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 26, 2014

In recent years, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) has come under fire for a variety of issues related to the organization’s annual cookie sales.  Among other things, parents, bloggers and food advocates have questioned the cookies’ inclusion of trans fats and eco-unfriendly palm oil, as well as the organization’s lame attempt last year to pass […]


Military Leaders Urge Staying the Course on Healthier School Food

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 23, 2014

In 2008, a group of retired four-star generals, admirals and other senior military leaders banded together out of a growing concern that a significant segment of America’s youth are unfit to serve in the armed forces, presenting a serious long-term threat to our national security.  Now with over 450 members, Mission Readiness has since proven to be […]


Imagine a restaurant getting a great review, only to have the chef call the newspaper to complain that the critic was sorely mistaken and the restaurant’s food isn’t as good as the review made it out to be. That bizarre scenario was all I could think of when I received an email yesterday from the School […]


With all that’s going on in the kid-and-food world these days, I’m getting sucked back into my old five-day-a-week posting schedule against my will!    Here’s the latest: SNA Asks For A Sit-Down with FLOTUS The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has asked for a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of […]


A Pill Too Bitter to Swallow

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 16, 2014

Many years ago, I mentioned to a doctor friend that a woman I knew — a Seventh Day Adventist who never touches alcohol — had been told she was at risk for cirrhosis of the liver due to her poor diet and excess weight.  My doctor friend looked at me skeptically and said I must have misunderstood the diagnosis — one […]


Last Friday, conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote an editorial praising the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) current attempts to roll back the nutritional improvements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), derisively referring to the legislation as “the first lady’s well-intentioned but disastrous school nutrition program, otherwise known as the Dumpster Derby.” In this regard, Parker is […]


School Food Professionals vs. Kids: How Did It Come to This?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 20, 2014

When I walked into my first Houston ISD School Food Services Parent Advisory Committee meeting, I knew next to nothing about school food except that my district seemed to be doing a pretty poor job of preparing it. But in the intervening four years, in which I educated myself about the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), started this […]


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 […]