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Study: Casinos Reduce Obesity In Indian Children

From Reuters:

When tribes build casinos, obesity falls in youth

By Ronnie Cohen | March 5, 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – After American Indians built casinos on California tribal lands, their incomes rose and their children’s obesity rates fell, according to a new study.

So maybe gambling is the solution to childhood obesity. In fact, maybe Michelle Obama should change her slogan from ‘Let’s Move!’ to ‘Let’s Gamble!’ Heck, maybe they should even think about putting ‘Slots For Tots’ in the schools, and giving ‘poor kids’ money to play. (As they already do with their parents, via EBT cards.)

The study’s authors sought to highlight the merits of investing in communities to prevent disease. They found that an infusion of resources was linked to a reduction in poverty and youth health risks….

American Indian children have disproportionately high rates of obesity, the study says. An estimated 48 percent of them are overweight or obese, and they are one and a half times more likely to be overweight than other American youth, lead author Jessica C. Jones-Smith told Reuters Health.

Jones-Smith, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and her team used data from the U.S. Census and California physical fitness programs to measure the impact an influx of funds into a community has on its youth.

They examined the heights and weights of American Indian children ages seven to 18 from California public school districts in areas with tribal lands. Then they tracked what happened when some of those communities built or expanded casinos between 2001 and 2012.

Of the 117 public school districts included in the study, 57 either opened or expanded casinos. Of the remaining districts, 24 had existing casinos that did not expand and 36 had none.

Districts that opened or expanded casinos added an average of 13 slot machines per resident. Such a change was associated with a drop in the proportion of local youth who were overweight or obese by 2.5 percent, Jones-Smith said…

So the solution seems pretty clear to us. And this will certainly be more popular with the kids than Michelle’s horrible school lunch menus.

Although why obesity rates fell in communities that added or expanded casinos remains unknown, Jones-Smith has some ideas.

Her study suggested an addition of 13 slot machines per capita in a community was linked to an increase in annual income of $7,000 for each resident. The increased income might allow families to purchase healthier, less fattening food, she said…

Right. And it has nothing to do with the fact that you have to stand up and move around to gamble.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, March 6th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Study: Casinos Reduce Obesity In Indian Children”

  1. “Slots for Tots”

    So full of win

  2. canary

    Insane. They do a study in a state like California where the public schools micromanage children’s food and exercise outlawing toys with happy meals and weighing students on without parents permission.




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