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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 08 February 2006

Because Oregon kids are growing out faster than they are growing up, public schools must get students exercising and remove the temptation of junk food, child advocates say.

Nearly one in four Oregon children meet the definition of overweight or obese, in adult terms, according to the annual Kids Count report.

It said this is part of a national trend: More than twice as many children and three times as many adolescents are overweight today than was the case 30 years ago.

The leader of the group that issues the report, Children First for Oregon, said overweight children are part of an epidemic.

The result, said Executive Director Robin Christian, is that "this generation will be the first to be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents."

The report lays the blame for overweight children on a variety of causes: two-earner families pressed for time and relying on fast and convenience food and on restaurant meals, more "screen time" for television and games, larger portion sizes in restaurants and homes, poverty and prices rising faster for fresh foods than packaged goods, soda and candy machines in schools, fewer physical education classes and car-friendly suburbs where people walk little.

— The Associated Press

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