Obesity, Obesity Reports On The Rise

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Vol 41 Issue 01

Bush Unveils New Blind-Faith-Based Initiatives

COLUMBUS, OH (Sept. 27)—Seeking to broaden his appeal among undecided voters, President Bush unveiled a new set of blind-faith-based initiatives during a campaign stop in the battleground state of Ohio Sunday. According to a senior staff member, the sweeping initiatives—which address such complex matters as climate change, the faltering economy, and challenges to American security at home and abroad—are founded on the unquestioned assumption that the Bush Administration will "take care of everything." "My blind-faith initiatives are far-reaching, and like many large issues, they are simple," Bush said. "I call upon all Americans to surrender any doubts they may have about my record. After all, naysaying is no substitute for real governance." Officials from the newly created Office Of Blind-Faith-Based Initiatives were at church and unavailable for comment.

Lesser-Known Celebrity Trials

The year brought a number of celebrity trials, but few received as much attention as thoses of Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart. What were some of 2004's lesser-known celebrity trails?

Bush Vows To Put Man On Moon Before It Disappears At End Of Month

WASHINGTON, DC (Jan. 14)—To revive U.S. interest in manned space exploration, President Bush called on NASA Wednesday to put an astronaut on the moon before it vanishes at the month's end. "The moon has already shrunk to nearly a quarter of its size," Bush said in his speech at NASA headquarters. "That means we have less than a week to move. But I do believe America has the strength, determination, and old-fashioned know-how to get a man atop the moon before it disappears altogether." The president went on to propose the construction of a lunar capsule that could land on a concave surface.

Threat Of Catching Olympic Fever At All-Time Low

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (June 13)—U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Jim Scherr announced Thursday that the risk of contracting Olympic Fever, the virulent international strain of athletic obsession that sweeps the nation every four years, has dropped to a historic low.

Yankees Lose World Series

NEW YORK (Oct. 27)—Many baseball fans were disappointed Wednesday when the New York Yankees, 26-time world champions and the highest-paid team in baseball, did not win the 2004 World Series.

WMDs Found

TEHRAN, IRAN (June 19)—The U.S. military's long search for weapons of mass destruction ended Wednesday when state officials in North Korea and Iran admitted to having nuclear-weapons programs.

A Polarized Nation

Many people say the nation became even more politically polarized in 2004. What do you think?
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Obesity, Obesity Reports On The Rise

ALBANY, NY (Nov. 14)—Americans have never been more aware of the dangers of weight gain, nor have they ever weighed so much, according to a SUNY-Binghamton study released Monday.

An obese obesity-report reader.

"In 1989, Americans were exposed to 1.8 reports on obesity each week and were an average of five pounds overweight," study director Marilyn Fleder said. "Today, the average American is nearly 10 pounds overweight and sees or reads at least four reports on the obesity epidemic each week. If the trend continues unchecked, Americans will weigh 17 pounds more, and network news shows will devote a daily minimum of three minutes of airtime to obesity issues by 2010."

Fleder blamed the dual trend on Americans' increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

"Americans get their news about obesity by watching television or reading magazines and newspapers, which force the reader or viewer to assume a physically passive position," Fleder said. "This contributes to weight gain, which is then dutifully reported by the media. It's a vicious cycle."

Fleder said the trend could reverse itself if Americans had healthier diets and became more physically active.

"While reports have ballooned to hundreds of pages in length, there is hope," Fleder said. "If Americans improve their eating and exercise habits, obesity reports could quickly begin to drop in size, shedding as many as 20 to 30 pages a year, until they disappear altogether."

Fleder added that the media could also play a useful role by limiting obesity coverage to the later prime-time hours between 9 and 11 p.m., after the dinner hour.

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