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Oklahoma health experts discuss obesity during NewsOK Live Hangout

Reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove hosted a Google Hangout Wednesday to discuss obesity in Oklahoma with health experts. You can watch a replay of the hangout and read the entire comment thread below.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: October 18, 2012 at 10:17 am •  Published: October 18, 2012

Reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove hosted a Google Hangout Wednesday to discuss obesity in Oklahoma with health experts. Above is a replay video of the hangout. You can also read the entire comment thread below.

Guest 2:23 p.m. In regard to morbidly obese minors, what is your opinion as to how educators, state workers, or local leaders should approach parents of these children in order to help their child to become healthy again?
NewsOK 3:51 p.m. Here's a question from a reader on Facebook:

How do you help friends who appear to be addicted to food?
Kierston 3:54 p.m. In regard to morbidly obese minors, what is your opinion as to how educators, state workers, or local leaders should approach parents of these children in order to help their child to become healthy again? (Didn't put my name earlier!)
Kate 4:06 p.m. Do you think tackling obesity should be handled state by state or at the federal level?
Justin 4:07 p.m. Why are Oklahomans so susceptible to obesity?
Kierston 4:07 p.m. $1,069 per person! Wow! And future estimates in 2018 are looking at over $5,000 per person? Just unfathomable.Definitely a reason to get a handle on our youth now.
Kate 4:12 p.m. What current studies are being done around obesity in Oklahoma?
runhers 4:13 p.m. Food - processed foods are designed for profit and convenience - not health. We have to use the same marketing tactics as Fast Food brands for helthy fod promotions - where are coupons for fruits and vegetables?
runhers 4:14 p.m. "healthy food' sorry about spelling
Kierston 4:16 p.m. What is the State of Oklahoma doing currently to help tackle the childhood obesity epidemic?
Kierston 4:17 p.m. Sidenote: OrganicGirl offers coupons for their veggies!
runhers 4:17 p.m. Do not shame the kids about their weight - it doesn't work.
Justin 4:20 p.m. What are the commentator’s opinions on punitive actions like a “fat tax” that charges a tax on the obese due do their excessive strain on the health care system?
Kierston 4:20 p.m. GREAT question, Justin!
runhers 4:24 p.m. How much research have the panelists done in health gaming for kids? Kids live in 2 different worlds right now - the "school' world and the real world where they are 'connected' with games andentertanment.
Jaclyn Cosgrove, NewsOK 4:25 p.m. Thanks for all of your questions. Keep them coming :)
Garett Fisbeck 4:25 p.m. You're rocking it, Jaclyn. :D
Amy 4:26 p.m. Kierston, to answer your question as to what's being done in Oklahoma to help tackle to childhood obesity epidemic - you should check out the Fit Kids website and see how they change policies to make the healthy choice the easy choice for Oklahomans
Kierston 4:26 p.m. The statement about schools opening their facilities to recreational use sparked a question. Since most gyms don't allow children under 16 or so, what resources do our overweight youth have to start implementing a workout regimine?
runhers 4:28 p.m. How are you planning to educate the children? What media and format? Again, what are the best practices you are holding up from elsewhere?
Guest 4:28 p.m. Do our experts have any favorite tools or smart phone apps that help people track or monitor calorie intake?
Duke Newcomb 4:29 p.m. My girlfriend is a vegetarian. She is still overweight. For cryin' out loud, how does this happen?
Tiffany 4:30 p.m. RE Guest: You might try MyFitnessPal. My friends use that app.
Guest 4:31 p.m. We know physical activity and quality nutrition is important but aren't there some direct connections to societal issues - poverty, abuse and other traumas.
Kierston 4:31 p.m. Lots of vegetarian food is loaded with calories, for instance, vegan peanut butter fudge brownies from Natural Grocers!
Eli 4:31 p.m. This is really interesting. I came in late, so this may have been covered already, but can the panelists discuss how much exercise a busy person should try to fit in? I go to a workout class a couple of times a week, but I have a desk job and feel like I'm not moving not enough. Le sigh.
Guest 4:31 p.m. I use it as well and love it! It wanted the conversation to share tools for anyone listening.
runhers 4:33 p.m. Its going to take new design - if we want to help our kids, we need to ASK them. They can help as much as anyone with this issue.
runhers 4:34 p.m. We're happy to met and share the work we are involved with as well.
Duke Newcomb 4:34 p.m. Blood work results at a health fair at work got my attention. It's now a priority.
runhers 4:34 p.m. meet
Kierston 4:35 p.m. is a fantastic tool, I'd heard of it before but never used it. I will now!
Justin 4:35 p.m. thanks this was cool
runhers 4:35 p.m. Thanks for doing this NEWSOK - and Jaclyn!
Guest 2 4:35 p.m. Will there be an archive?
Kierston 4:36 p.m. Awesome job, Jaclyn! Thanks so much to all of the panelists!
Amy 4:37 p.m. hey runhers, the Fit Kids is trying to start Youth Advisory Council again. keep up with them on Twitter @OKfitkids and on Facebook and check out the website
Amber England 4:37 p.m. Hi guys, this is Amber England from the fit kids coalition and if you guys have specific questions for the Fit Kids Coalition I'd be happy to answer them now.
NewsOK 4:37 p.m. RE Guest 2: Yes, we archive all of our hangouts here:
chris 4:40 p.m. Do many OK schools have fast food choices at their schools?
Amber England 4:40 p.m. Id like to throw this website out there as a great resource for what's being done in Oklahoma around the issue of obesity. There are tools on how to get Oklahoma communities, schools and businesses certified as "healthy" as well as information for individuals on how to take steps to become healthy. That website is
Amber England 4:42 p.m. Most every school in Oklahoma have some sort of "fast food" option in their linch rooms. but recent changes to the federal child nutrition act have actually helped to make school lunches more healthy. There wasn't enough funding tied to the new requirements and that is having an effect on how much of these changes are actually being implemented by our schools.
Amber England 4:43 p.m. "lunch" room not "linch" room. SORRY!
NewsOK 4:43 p.m. Any other questions for Amber or other panelists? You can also email Jaclyn at
Amber England 4:45 p.m. Information about the recetn changes to school lunches can be found here:
NewsOK 4:48 p.m. Any last questions or comments? We're going to wrap this up soon.
NewsOK 4:48 p.m. Thanks again to those who joined us this afternoon. We learned a lot and hope you did too.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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