Kentucky's Kids Are Just Plain Fat

So take a look at this Presidential Memorandum establishing a childhood obesity task force that was signed by President Barack Obama this morning during an Oval Office event with First Lady Michelle Obama.

An excerpt:

Across our country, childhood obesity has reached epidemic rates and, as a result, our children may live shorter lives than their parents. Obesity has been recognized as a problem for decades, but efforts to address this crisis to date have been insufficient. My Administration is committed to redoubling our efforts to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation through a comprehensive approach that builds on effective strategies, engages families and communities, and mobilizes both public and private sector resources.

Nearly one third of children in America are overweight or obese — a rate that has tripled in adolescents and more than doubled in younger children since 1980. One third of all individuals born in the year 2000 or later will eventually suffer from diabetes over the course of their lifetime, while too many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma. Without effective intervention, many more children will endure serious illnesses that will put a strain on our health-care system. We must act now to improve the health of our Nation’s children and avoid spending billions of dollars treating preventable disease.


Sec. 2. Mission and Functions of the Task Force. The Task Force shall work across executive departments and agencies to develop a coordinated Federal response while also identifying nongovernmental actions that can be taken to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. The functions of the Task Force are advisory only and shall include, but are not limited to, making recommendations to meet the following objectives:

(a) ensuring access to healthy, affordable food;

(b) increasing physical activity in schools and communities;

(c) providing healthier food in schools; and

(d) empowering parents with information and tools to make good choices for themselves and their families.


Now to get our leaders in Kentucky to discuss the problem…

Maybe it’d help if we had any clue what real food is in America.

Peep Michelle Obama’s remarks delivered at noon today after the jump…

Read moreKentucky's Kids Are Just Plain Fat

I'm Impressed With the Lexington Art League

All right. Let’s get personal for a second. I am impressed with the Lexington Art League. Specifically with its Side by Side program, which is handled in partnership with Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and VSA arts of Kentucky.

Rather than get all in-depth and ruin it for you (you can research things for yourself at the link above and form your own opinion), let’s just take a look at some photos:

Side by Side is (in LAL’s own words) “a unique program that helps children with special needs express themselves through the visual arts.” Children will complete a six-week course during which they create their own (on their own) piece of art and one piece of art in collaboration with a professional artist. The artworks are set to be exhibited later this spring.

I encourage you to support the Lexington Art League.

2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book Released

The 2009 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book has been released. For the 19th year in a row, the publication focuses on key indicators of child safety that include child and teen deaths, child abuse and neglect and juvenile justice.

From the book, some data highlights that will make your head spin:

  • From 2000 to 2007, the rate of Kentucky children living in poverty increased from 21% to 24%
  • Between 2000 and 2008, the average monthly number of Kentucky kids receiving food stamps rose from 177,569 to 251,318, a 42% increase
  • From 2000 to 2008, the average monthly number of children enrolled in KCHIP increased from 45,063 to 57,379, a 27% increase
  • After more than a decade of improvement, the number of births to Kentucky teens aged 15 to 19 increased to 7,340 in 2006 – a rate of 54 per 1,000
  • From 2000 to 2006, the percent of low-weight births increased from 8% to 9%
  • From 2003 to 2008, the number of Kentucky youth held in secure detention facilities rose from 7,736 to 9,834, a 27% increase
  • From 2003 to 2008 the rate of youth placed in out-of-home care due to abuse or neglect rose by 9%

Check everything out for yourself. These data should be required reading for everybody in the Commonwealth. But I’m betting less than 1% of Frankfort will ever take the time to digest any of the information.

Hump Day Dept of More Beshear Disappointment

Deep Thought: D.C. approves gay marriage and Oral Roberts keels over dead. Coincidence? [Deep Thinking]

Jack Conway is holding a fancy fundraiser in Northern Kentucky, a foreign land. [Amanda Vablerberew38uter358]

Greg Stumbo says he’s open to raising taxes. More importantly, he doesn’t shy away from tax reform. And Jim Gooch repeats a right-wing talking point about shrinking government. [Stephenie Steitzer]

Hotline On Call says Ben Chandler is vulnerable. [National Journal]

Greg Stumbo knows comprehensive tax reform is necessary in this state. Unfortunately, the governor does not. Also, Jim Wayne and Mary Lou Marzian shall win fancy awards from us for their hilarious remarks. Many, many whore diamonds to Ronnie Ellis for always writing what needs to be written! [Ronnie Ellis]

See what happens when you have common sense? Stumbo supports tax reform and the Herald-Leader ed board writes a glowing piece about him. [H-L]

Never you worry your little heart, though, cause the Governor’s office can do nothing but release embarrassingly awful statements.  I can’t decide if he’s just ignorant or stupid? [More H-L]

Did you know? We are all gonna die of the $1.2 billion poverty in the next budget cycle. [Roger Alford]

Do you have eleventy billion dollars? Then buy up some Kentucky Derby and Oaks tickets today at 12 Noon on the internets. A total of 3,000 tickets will be made available. [Churchill Downs]

Maybe some day a news outlet will report that Steve Beshear was at a payday loan shark executive’s home for a gigantic fundraiser in Nashville not long ago? [AP via WSAZ]

Steve Beshear says money for child welfare will be tight. All that in the midst of news that the state does a half-assed job protecting abused children as it is and that social workers barely have enough to get by. Way to go, Frankfort. [Debby Yetter]

Time Magazine’s person of the year, Ben Bernanke, responded to Jim Bunning’s written questions. [Financial Times]

Jane Beshear Gives Back to Hospitalized Kids

Today First Lady Jane Beshear delivered wrapped toys to 65 young patients at Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington.

“This is what the spirit of the season is really all about—giving back,” said Mrs. Beshear. “I know how hard illness can be not only on young children but on the families as well. I hope this celebration today and these toys provide a little bit of joy in what can be a difficult time.”

Here she is in action:

Pictured above: Mrs. Beshear greets Jeanna Muschong, age 7, and her mother, Kelly.

Maybe some day she’ll run for office herself?

Tuesday Evening Dept of Papaw Is Sinking

Papaw Steve Beshear’s approval rating has taken a major hit. At its lowest since 2009. Just 44% approve. One-termer? [SurveyUSA]

Jefferson County Family Court judges don’t think dating violence is as important as other forms of domestic violence. Way to go, folks! [The ‘Ville Voice]

The 18 biggest falsehoods in Sarah Palin’s book, which she couldn’t even write herself. [HuffPo]

Kentuckians should take note: Republicans are headed for a bloodbath in Florida. It could happen here. Though, we don’t have a gay Republican governor. [CNN]

New county-level education data is available from the Kids Count Data Center. [Click Here]

Kentuckians are smart. They don’t want Sarah Palin to run for anything ever, because she is insane. Also, who cares? This is a non-story and this wench is more of a media whore than me. [Joe Arnold]

Rand Paul hates Medicare and rights a fancy unicorn, ladies. [Barefoot & Progressive]

ATTENTION! Rand Paul wants it both ways! This is why Ronnie Ellis is our favorite dirty journalist. Hahaha. [Ronnie Ellis]

Quick, everybody feel sorry for Steve Nunn. He pleaded not guilty to six charges of wanton endangerment in Hart County. [WHAS11]

Uninsured emergency room patients are twice as likely to die. [MSNBC]

Hey, science geeks: the birth of a new species witnessed by scientists. [Wired]

FACES of Coal PR folks descended upon Breathitt County’s elected officials. [Business Lexington]