In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Introducing the Issue
  • Christina Paxson (bio), Elisabeth Donahue (bio), C. Tracy Orleans (bio), and Jeanne Ann Grisso (bio)
Christina Paxson

Christina Paxson is a senior editor of The Future of Children, the director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing, and a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University.

Elisabeth Donahue

Elisabeth Donahue is associate editor of The Future of Children and a lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

C. Tracy Orleans

C. Tracy Orleans is a senior scientist at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Jeanne Ann Grisso

Jeanne Ann Grisso is a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


1. Jeffrey P. Koplan, Catharyn T. Liverman, and Vivica I. Kraak, eds., Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance (Washington: National Academies Press, 2005).

2. S. Jay Olshansky and others, "A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century," New England Journal of Medicine 352 (2005): 1138-45. An editorial in the same volume, however, cautioned that this claim may be overstated. See Samuel H. Preston, "Deadweight? The Influence of Obesity on Longevity," New England Journal of Medicine 352 (2005): 1135-37.

3. Guijing Wang and William H. Dietz, "Economic Burden of Obesity in Youths Aged 7 to 17 Years: 1979-1999," Pediatrics 109, 5 (2002): E81.

4. Roland Sturm, "The Effects of Obesity, Smoking, and Drinking on Medical Problems and Costs," Health Affairs 21, no. 2 (2002): 245-53.

5. Eric A. Finkelstein, Ian C. Fiebelkom, and Guijing Wang, "National Medical Spending Attributable to Overweight and Obesity: How Much, and Who’s Paying?" Health Affairs, Supplemental Web Exclusives: W3-219-26.

6. Darius N. Lakdawalla, Jay Bhattacharya, and Dana P. Goldman, "Are the Young Becoming More Disabled? Rates of Disability Appear to Be on the Rise among People Ages Eighteen to Fifty-Nine, Fueled by a Growing Obesity Epidemic," Health Affairs 23, no. 1 (2004): 168-76; Darius Lakdawalla and others, "Forecasting the Nursing Home Population," Medical Care 41, no. 1 (2003) (Point/Counterpoint): 8-20.

7. Robert C. Whitaker and others, "Predicting Obesity in Young Adulthood from Childhood and Parental Obesity," New England Journal of Medicine 337 (1997): 869-73.

8. In imperial measurements, the calculation is (weight in pounds/height in inches [squared]) x 703.

9. Department of Health and Human Services, "2000 CDC Growth Charts for the United States: Methods and Development," Vital and Health Statistics, series 11, no. 246 (Hyattsville, Md.: National Center for Health Statistics, 2002).

10. U.S. Government Accountability Office, "School Meal Programs: Competitive Foods Are Widely Available and Generate Substantial Revenues for Schools" (Government Accountability Office, August 2005) ( [accessed December 5, 2005]).

11. (accessed December 6, 2005)

12. John Cawley, Chad D. Meyerhoefer, and David Newhouse, "The Impact of State Physical Education Requirements on Youth Physical Activity and Overweight," Working Paper 11411 (Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2005).

13. See Children’s Television Act of 1990, P.L. 101-437; Children’s Internet Protection Act, P.L. 106-554; Code of Federal Regulations 47, sec. 73.670 (1991 FCC rule limiting commercials aimed at children); 15 U.S.C. 1335 (congressional prohibition of advertisements for tobacco on radio and television). See also People of State of California v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (2004), which let stand a lower court decision that sanctioned R. J. Reynolds for targeting youth with tobacco advertising in magazines with a teen audience of 15 percent or more—a violation of the tobacco litigation Master Settlement Agreement. [End Page 16]

14. Krista Kotz and Mary Story, "Food Advertisements during Children’s Saturday Morning Television Programming: Are They Consistent with Dietary Recommendations?" Journal of the American Dietetic Association 94, no. 11 (1994): 1296-1300.

15. J. Galst and M. White, "The Unhealthy Persuader: The Reinforcing Value of Television and Children’s Purchase Influence Attempts at the Supermarket," Child Development 47 (1976): 1089-96; Howard L. Taras and others, "Television’s Influence on Children’s Diet and Physical Activity," Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 10 (1989): 176-80.

16. 15 U.S.C. 1335.

17. Adam Gilden Tsai...


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