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Price Lab instructor says McDonalds can't be blamed for obese kids <br>

November 25, 2002
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Lori Smith, instructor, Malcolm Price Laboratory School, (319) 273-2559
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

Parents of kids who ate daily at McDonalds are now suing the fast-food giant, alleging the burgers and fries consumed caused obesity. Lori Smith, a physical education instructor at Malcolm Price Laboratory School, says the very notion that a restaurant is responsible for an individual's weight is absurd.

Smith, named the 2001 Iowa physical education teacher of the year, says obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions, and she doesn't lay the blame at McDonalds' doorstep. 'There is no single entity that is responsible. It's a societal phenomenon. Technology has made our lives easier, but it has also made us unhealthier. We no longer have to walk to work, or even get up to change the channel. As a result, we've become very sedentary.'

She sites high use of computers and video games as another factor that increases the sedentary lifestyle.

Smith would like to see more schools doing what Price Lab does: offer quality daily physical education for students. 'We are responsible for children's well-being, for teaching them how to take care of themselves. School is a primary place for doing that. And parents and families have to play a role too, by modeling healthy lifestyles.'