April 10th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Almost 20% of U.S. 4-year-olds obese



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to their health, some American children have already lost. A new study shows almost one in fibe four-year-olds is obese. It's a startling number that suggests many children are doomed before they're even faced with soda and candy, donuts and French fries.

And certain ethnic groups are at higher risk than others. Just 13 percent of Asian pre-schoolers are obese compared to 16 percent of whites, almost 21 percent of blacks, 22 percent of Hispanics and a whopping 31 percent of American Indians. This government study focused on more than 8,500 preschoolers born in 2001.

Researchers suggest that some factors that can increase obesity risks are more common among minorities - things like poverty, less-educated parents, less emphasis on exercise and diets high in fat and calories.

The medical prognosis is not good: Obese children are more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. In fact, diseases commonly seen in 40 or 50-year-olds are now showing up in kids as young as six. Things like type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and muscular and skeletal problems.

What can parents do? Doctors recommend children eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, reduce television time down to two hours or less, exercise at least one hour, and consume no soda or sugary drinks. Fine - but with the number of obese adults in this country, it's not exactly like we're long on good role models.

Here's my question to you: What does the future hold for this nation's children if almost 20 percent of four-year-olds are obese?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: United States
April 10th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Answer to world's exploding population?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Water shortages threaten two of the world's largest cities and could soon become a reality for many more of us. Mexico City has turned off a main water pipeline, shutting off water to at least 5 million of the area's 20 million residents.

The world's population has tripled over the past eight decades.

Water reserves there have reached historic lows of less than 50 percent thanks to low rainfall totals last year and a leaky infrastructure system. This is the third time just this year the city has temporarily turned off the tap to conserve water.

Then there's Los Angles - where the city council unanimously rejected a plan to ration water. This came despite a drought emergency directive by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to cut water use 20 percent this year. If the city fails to take action, the agency that supplies most of the water could impose rationing.

And as a UPI piece points out - this problem reaches much further than just Mexico City or Los Angeles... Beijing has a serious water shortage; the Israelis and Palestinians are fighting over control of key aquifers; and many U.S. cities could face water shortages in the next five to 10 years because one key aquifer in the Midwest has been hugely depleted.

There's no question that water shortages can also be traced to the world's exploding population which is now at six-point-eight billion people - more than three times what it was 80 years ago. This rapidly increasing growth seems to be putting an unsustainable demand on resources like water and the environment, and will eventually begin to create shortages of food.

Here's my question to you: What's the answer to the world's exploding population?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Global matters • Population
April 10th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Where should White House start with immigration reform?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's not like he doesn't already have a lot on his plate. Now President Obama says he wants to tackle immigration reform; and do it this year. In fact, he says he plans to begin as soon as next month.

Tackling immigration reform: Where should the White House begin?

The president says he will rely on a bipartisan and diverse group of experts to frame the legislation. But officials say that immigration won't be "on the same track" as other key initiatives like health care and energy, and "nobody's promising legislation or a vote this year."

Nonetheless, it looks like the president will try to make good on yet another campaign promise by working to fix the nation's broken immigration system during his first year in office. There are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in this country. The White House apparently wants to look for a path for illegal aliens to become legal - that's called amnesty and a lot of folks in this country are rabidly opposed,including immigrants who took the time and trouble to come here legally.

The president also wants to remove incentives to enter the country illegally, beef up border security and work with Mexico to cut down on illegal immigration. This is all stuff we've heard before and at the end of the day none of it gets done.

Note to our new president: The economy is in the toilet. Is now the time to give millions of illegal aliens permanent access to American jobs when millions of our own citizens are out of work? If you want to begin to squander your incredibly high approval ratings with the American public, this might be a the way to do it.

Here’s my question to you: The White House wants to start tackling immigration reform this year. Where should they begin?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Immigration