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Series Website: shiftingthebalance.nhpr.orgShifting the Balance is a station-wide series focused on the positive impact environmental and policy changes can have on the fight against obesity in schools, workplaces, and communities. While so much of the national conversation about obesity focuses on the effect of personal choice, NHPR’s reporters and producers are examining what happens when the choices themselves are changed. Shifting the Balance will present stories of how personal habits, including exercise and consumption, can be improved when even simple changes are made to an individual’s environment, including infrastructure, available food, and the support of leaders and innovators across the culture.

You Can't Bully the Pounds Away

(Photo by rodab0B via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced with Emma Ruddock

News today that the FDA has approved the first prescription drug for weight loss in thirteen years is yet another reminder that obesity is an epidemic. But it’s the stats for obese kids that are truly staggering. According to the CDC, 30 percent of children between the age of 2 to 19 years are clinically obese. Having an overweight child is often a struggle for parents, who have to find the balance between teaching what it means to live a healthy lifestyle and running the risk of damaging their kid’s self-esteem. Dawn Friedmanknows quite a bit about that struggle…she’s a counselor in training and a writer whose work has appeared in Salon, The Washington Post, and the Utne Reader, where we found a link to her article, “Weighing Down our Children: Why Blaming Kids for Being Fat Doesn’t Work.” We’re talking with dawn as part of our continuing series, Shifting the Balance.

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