Inside Opinion

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Tag: franklin pierce school district


A grassroots counterattack on the obesity industry

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Most children face obstacles enough in life. Obesity – a preventable problem – shouldn’t be among them.

The Pierce County Health Department, YMCA, MultiCare and other community organizations deserve credit for their attack on childhood obesity, an epidemic of epic proportions in the United States.

Obesity isn’t merely being overweight; it’s being so overweight that grave problems are likely to arise from it – including heart disease, diabetes and, not least, bullying from classmates.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the rate of obesity among 6- to 11-year-olds rose from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 20 percent in 2008. Among 12- to 19-year-olds, the rate went from 5 percent to 18 percent. There’s no reason to think kids have gotten skinnier in the last four years.

Two factors are driving the trend: Eating junk and staring at screens. Fast food, snacks and sugary drinks pump the calories into them. The calories get packed away as fat when children spend hours a day parked in front of video games, television and computers.

Blame adults for most of this. They control what young children eat and how much time they spend gaping at pixels. In Washington, according to the CDC, roughly a third of all children aged 6 to 17 have televisions in their bedrooms. More than half of all high schools and middle schools provide ready access to high-calorie drinks and snacks during school hours.

A lot of these kids simply have the deck stacked against them.

But don’t underestimate the counter-attack. In the South Sound, a small host of organizations has been pushing back, often in close coordination.
Read more »


Support FPierce, Auburn and FWay school measures

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

It doesn’t take a financial genius to understand that there’s no better time than the present to get moving on construction projects: Interest rates are low, and contractors are eager for the work.

That might not be the case for long if the economy keeps improving and costs start rising. So it makes sense for three South Sound school districts to ask voters now to pay for major facility upgrades that can’t be put off any longer.

They make a good case for passing measures appearing on the Feb. 14 ballot, and The News Tribune supports all three. They are:

• Franklin Pierce School District – An article Thursday by The News Tribune’s Debbie Cafazzo outlines the badly needed improvements that would be funded by a five-year capital levy. Read more »