1. THINNING OUT

    Childhood Obesity Rates Dropping

    McLean, UNITED STATES:  LAWYERS FATTEN UP OBESITY SUIT AGAINST 'BIG SODA': Students at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia, walk past vending machines on school property 15 December 2005. A bubbling law suit has the 92 billion USD US soft drinks industry battling claims it is to blame for a hefty slice of America's youth obesity epidemic. Giants Pepsi Co. and Coca-Cola could soon be ensnared in the kind of class action legal tangles which landed tobacco firms with multi-billion dollar settlements, and hauled fast food icon McDonalds into court. Lawyers, some veterans of the tobacco wars, will accuse soda firms which fill school vending machines with plying soda pop guzzling youths with a product harmful to their health.   AFP Photo/Paul J. RICHARDS  (Photo credit should read PAUL J.RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Paul J. Richards, AFP / Getty Images

    Michelle Obama, for one, must be ecstatic. For the first time in decades, several American cities are reporting declines in childhood-obesity rates. The trend included several of the country’s biggest cities, like New York and Los Angeles, as well as some smaller metro areas like Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Neb. The drops aren’t huge—just 5 percent in Philadelpha and 3 percent in Los Angeles—but, as Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner in New York City says, “It’s been nothing but bad news for 30 years, so the fact that we have any good news is a big story.” It’s not clear what’s behind the declines.

    Read it at The New York Times