April 30, 2021

On today's show, Adrian and Ethan talk about the rise in childhood obesity over the past three decades.

Thirty years ago, having an overweight child was a challenge for a few. But those days are gone and obesity has been worsening in American kids. More than 40 percent of 16 to 19-year-olds are obese, the team at Duke University, Wake Forest University and elsewhere found. But worse, 26 percent of 2 to 5-year-olds were overweight and more than 15 percent were obese.

Obese and overweight children are at risk for a number of serious health problems such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease. Type 2 diabetes was once called adult-onset diabetes. Now with the rise in childhood obesity, there is a dramatic rise in the number of children suffering from type 2 diabetes. Untreated, this can be a life-threatening condition.

Early evidence is beginning to show that COVID-19, and the economic consequences of the pandemic, may be increasing the risk for obesity. With so many families dealing with financial challenges due to the pandemic, the connection between food insecurity, unhealthy eating habits, and obesity, have become even more evident.

We can always count on kids to see the issues and set out to make a difference…

Twins Shirley & Annie Zhu's Fresh Hub App Is Putting Food on Hundreds of Tables

Launching Fresh Hub in 2018, the Houston, Texas high school juniors are helping to change the lives of food insecure individuals in their community by rescuing food waste and supplying fresh food at distribution centers across the city.

After Hurricane Harvey, Shirley and Annie Zhu volunteered at a local grocery store in Houston, and they saw boxes of food that were going to be sent to waste landfills because the food had stayed in the store for too long.

That experience of watching food being thrown away while people were in need catalyzed their action on Project Fresh Hub. Even prior to the hurricane, food insecurity was a major issue in Houston: More than 500,000 residents live in so-called “food deserts” where it’s difficult to access fresh food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Since 2018, across their twenty-three market events and three Youth Service Day projects, they have collected distributed over 15,200 pounds of food.