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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 18, 2007 / 1 Sivan, 5767

Shrek: Wrong symbol for anti-obesity campaign

By Betsy Hart


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Shrek the Third" opens this weekend, and my four kids and I can't wait.


Of course, we didn't have to wait. We see him — Shrek —all over the grocery store, for starters. The lovable, hugely overweight ogre has been turning up on everything from Sierra Mist soda to M&Ms to Fruit Loops cereal. I've had to listen to him burp constantly since he arrived as my children's McDonald's Happy Meal toy.


Now, I'm all for marketing and product tie-ins. They are what make the free-market world go around. But, only the federal government could have come up with the brainless idea to make Shrek its face for its anti-childhood-obesity drive. Seriously.


Let's review. Childhood-obesity rates, already at epidemic proportions, are skyrocketing ever higher and faster. A report published last year by the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity said that by 2010, half of American kids will be overweight or even obese. That's up from previous projections of one-third. These kids are at risk for a lifetime of chronic and even deadly health conditions. Already, two-thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese, making the condition the second-leading cause of preventable death in the United States, just barely behind smoking.


And I don't lay the whole problem on cheap junk food or McDonald's. Those things may be cheaper and more available now, and maybe they are partly to blame, but they were pretty prevalent when I was a kid, too. Yet the rates of childhood obesity and overweight back then were comparatively tiny (about 4 percent of kids ages 6-11 in 1970). I remember one early-'70s-era commercial for Hostess treats. The ad featured kids watching TV (the horror!) after school. The lovely suburban mother walks into the TV room with a platter full of Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies, and the kids scoop them up with a big "Thanks, Mom!"


I recall literally asking my mother to do that very thing for us. She responded that I was crazy if I ever thought that would happen in our home.


In other words: Sure, the world is full of temptations. Yes, kids get too much "screen time." But it's ultimately up to parents to say "no," and to teach our children to say "no" to themselves and their unhealthy passions. Like overeating.


Unlike the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, I'm not really concerned that Shrek is on soda, which doesn't come into my house except for special occasions. Like I said, I rather like commercialism in principle. What I would like to revisit with the feds is the fact that Shrek is obese. Did anyone think about that slight contradiction when he was hired to be the face of the government's anti-obesity campaign?


"Shrek is a good model, especially for children who can benefit from more exercise," a Health and Human Services official responsible for Shrek's new job told the Associated Press. "He doesn't have a perfect physique."


Doesn't have a perfect physique? Shrek is fat. In fact, he is morbidly obese. He is a heart attack waiting to happen. Fat is never "fit" despite what some folks would love to believe. Is it really hard to understand that he should not be held up as a health model in an anti-obesity campaign? Or, is this partly about making obese kids feel OK about being obese? Because if that's the case, well, even the feds can't have their cake and eat it, too.


Would we want kids who smoke to feel good about that habit?


The Chicago Sun-Times recently put it this way about Shrek's new job as a health advocate: "Shrek Shills Dietary Dreck — Dump him." Exactly.


He's lovable in the movies, and I myself swoon at his accent. But only the government could come up with the idea of obese Shrek as a "Health Advocate." Once again, our tax dollars at work. Sigh.

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JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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