The Checkup: Is 64 the Magic Number for Childhood Obesity?

Researchers calculate that kids need to cut 64 calories a day from their diets to curb obesity by 2020.

• Right now, 17 percent of kids are obese; if current trends continue, that number will rise to more than 20 percent in eight years. In terms of ticks on the scale, that means kids in eight years will weigh four pounds more than their counterparts today—and that’s a pretty, well, big deal. Such is the sad conclusion of a new study which details how we’ll never, ever make a dent childhood obesity if we continue down our current path. But here’s the good news: Researchers also calculated what kind of calorie-cutting kids would have to do to meet the government’s 14-percent-obesity-rate-by-2020 goal. Ready for it? Sixty-four measly calories. Just 64! Honestly, that’s hardly anything. As TIME points out, 64 calories is four ounces of apple juice or a quarter of a CLIF bar. If a kid drank water at lunch instead of a Capri Sun (do they still make those anymore?) could you imagine the dent it would make? No, really. I think the small-steps-leads-to-big-results mentality is probably the best bet we have for tackling such a gargantuan problem. Because if we look at the whole picture, we’ll probably start to feel overwhelmed at throw our hands up in frustration—and what good will that do anyone?

• Alert! Dental X-rays might cause benign brain tumors! Or … maybe not! The research is unclear! Writes HealthDay, “The research doesn’t definitely link dental X-rays to the tumors, which affect about 1 percent of people. It’s also possible that dental X-rays, which are now given at a lower radiation dose, have nothing to do with the tumors.” So … there you have it, I guess?

TODAY Health is positively gushing over some new cellulite-busting laser that just got FDA approval. Think it really has legs? I’m suspicious.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.