The Obama administration wasn’t exactly known for their finesse at responsibly spending government money. Study findings released this year on the potential effect of air pollution on childhood obesity proves that point once again.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, in 2013, former President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $4,146,875 million grant to the University of Southern California. The grant’s purpose was to fund a five-year study to search for a link between “near-roadway air pollution” and obese children.
Surprise, surprise, the study came up empty.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the study earlier this year, in which it pointed out that researchers were not able to connect air pollutant exposure with childhood obesity. The study did find a correlation between polluted air and a difference in fast-food consumption habits.
Researchers based this study on interviews from the 1990s with school-aged children in California. The students received an annual questionnaire that asked about their dietary habits every year until they graduated high school.
So, the study was based on “self-reported” information from kids. And we all know that children never lie about anything, right?
As expected, the information gathered from the students wasn’t adequate.
The scientific explanation attempts to make the failed study sound slightly less of a failure.
“However, because there was no significant association between childhood air pollutant exposure and obesity or overweight in this study sample,” the study explains, “the mediation effect of food pattern factor scores in the association between air pollutant exposure and obesity could not be examined under a consistent mediation model.”
The study was also not able to link air pollutants to higher “sweet food” or high-calorie food intake.
But if you think that’s stopping researchers from snatching up your taxpayer dollars for future studies, you’d be mistaken.
“Future studies are warranted to identify specific air pollutant chemicals that could have a causal effect on altering children’s dietary behavior,” the study said.
According to a mind-blowing statistic from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 32 percent of U.S. children and adolescents are obese. Nobody doubts that this is a national problem — one that will likely continue to wreak havoc on a struggling healthcare system for years to come.
Having said that, why don’t we spend those millions of dollars on studies and methods that will educate parents and children on proper nutrition and promoting the benefits of exercise?
It’s no secret that if a person takes in more calories than they burn, they’ll gain weight.
With an American culture that has sadly moved away from kids playing outside to kids staying inside playing video games and eating junk food, it doesn’t take a scientist or a $4 million study to figure out why so many people are obese.
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