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Study Shows Violence Is Making Children Overweight

child drinks soda
Staff Sgt. Matt McGovern
U.S. Air Force - Commons
Study tracks exposure to violence and subsequent activity levels, fatigue, and consumption of fast food and soda

Researchers have long been aware of a link between exposure to violence and obesity in adolescents. Now a new study is untangling some of the reasons that connection exists.

The study used smart phones to monitor adolescents in California and North Carolina. It tracked their exposure to violence and subsequent activity levels, fatigue, and consumption of fast food and soda.

The study found that at-risk children were more likely to report feeling fatigued and consuming soda on days when they were exposed to violence as compared to days when they were not, an important finding given that soda consumption and lack of sleep are strongly correlated with obesity later in life. One third of American children are now overweight or obese. Host Frank Stasio talks with study co-author Dr. Candice Odgers about the methods and the findings.

Note: This segment originally aired August 16, 2017.

Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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