Childhood obesity rates are on the rise in America. Find out which are two of the best stocks to buy that will be rewarded by going back to the basics…
In the age of extreme dieting, weight-loss pills, and risky medical procedures – it seems like everybody who’s ever been concerned about their weight has given at least one of these schemes a try.
People want instant results and would rather spend the money (or starve) than put in the grunt work.
Others simply give up and just let the pounds pile on.
It would appear that people no longer have the time or the motivation (or common sense) to achieve good health the old-fashion way – with basic nutrition and physical activities.
Healthy food and exercise? What are those?
What’s even more disturbing is that our own children are falling into the same traps — and at much younger ages.
September was National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – an annual month long campaign meant to bring attention to our nation’s growing epidemic.
In the recent annual report from the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation and Trust for America’s Health (RWJF), seven US states were identified as having the highest childhood obesity rates in the country.
Here’s how they ranked in terms of children aged 10 – 17:
- Mississippi (21.7%)
- South Carolina (21.5%)
- Louisiana (21.1%)
- Tennessee (20.5%)
- Arkansas (20%)
- Arizona (19.8%)
- Kentucky (19.7%)
Not surprisingly, 6 out of the 7 states on the list (Arizona being the exception) are also in the top ten for obesity rates in adults.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are six risk factors associated with children becoming overweight:
- lack of exercise
- family history
- psychological factors
- family factors/family discipline
- socioeconomic factors/cheaper food
A quick look at the list and it’s apparent why these issues can easily lead kids down a dangerous path…
You may remember a young lady by the name of Brook Bates — in 2006 at the age of 12, she became the youngest person in the world to have liposuction surgery. This was then followed up with a tummy tuck to remove excess skin and an insertion of a gastric band to suppress her hunger.
The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also conducted a study from 1999-2010 which found that extreme dieting and disordered eating was high among adolescence and that the behaviors often remained into young adulthood.
Now there are even weight-management drugs such as Roche’s Xenical that have been approved for adolescents as young as 12 years old. And new products including Arena Pharmaceuticals’ Belviq and VIVUS’ Qsymia could soon be approved for people less than 18 years of age.
Such extreme measures for weight management are outright shocking.
But, some companies that are taking a more sensible approach to helping combat childhood obesity. Their commitment to a long-term health strategy should appeal to value investors.
Best Stocks to Buy Today:
Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB) under the leadership of CEO Denise Morrison, CPB has seen its product offerings expand into healthier alternatives including goods manufactured by Bolthouse Farms and Plum Organics over the last few years.
It’s also been a leader in spearheading a variety of health awareness programs, including those aimed specifically at children.
Their ‘Labels for Education’ product redemption program that provides educational supplies to schools in exchange for UPC codes of specific Campbell products is now in its 20th year. To date, they’ve awarded more than $118 million worth of equipment and supplies to schools in Canada and the US.
Campbell helped found the ‘Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation’ that’s helping to reduce childhood obesity by 2015 through social media and programs such as reducing the total amount of calories sold in the marketplace (1.5 trillion calories removed as of 2012).
Morrison is also a member of the Child Obesity 180 organization, which aims to reverse the trend of childhood obesity in a generation’s time.
Bringing together prominent health experts and leaders from all sectors – private, public, academic, and non-profit – Child Obesity 180 has launched a number of initiatives to keep kids active and healthy, including in-school breakfast programs, healthier children’s menu in restaurants, and after school physical activities.
Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) is part of the Let’s Move! Active Schools initiative launched by Michelle Obama to get schools to provide 60 minutes of physical activity a day before, during and after school. Let’s Move! is also supported by Child Obesity 180.
In February, Nike pledged $50 million to support Let’s Move! to engage 50,000 schools to participate over the next five years.
With prominent athletes such as Serena Williams, Paul Rodriguez and Colin Kaepernick as active spokespeople for the program, Nike should be well on its way to achieving its goal.
Adolescent health aside, Nike is also gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Although Adidas is one of the official partners for the tournament, Nike uniforms will be worn by the US and host country Brazil.
With the sport of soccer increasing in popularity in America thanks to Major League Soccer, the World Cup will certainly provide Nike with significant brand awareness over the coming year.
Both companies’ stock reached record highs this year, which is a testament to their longevity.
And as they seek out new opportunities to market their products, such as through schools and soccer, they’ll continue to offer solid, long-term upsides for investors.