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A. The Unhealthy Habits of Schoolchildren

Narrator: This is Science Today. There's been a steady rise in unhealthy lifestyle habits among our nation's schoolchildren - namely, the consumption of high fat diets and a lack of exercise. Joanne Ikeda, a nutrition specialist at the University of California, Berkeley, says all together, it's taking a serious toll.

Ikeda: We're seeing children who have high blood pressure; we're seeing children who have early signs of coronary heart disease. We're seeing a dramatic increase in rates of Type II diabetes in children.

Narrator: Ikeda says part of the problem is the fact that school kids spend too much time sitting - either in school, in front of a computer or in front of the television. And then there's the problem of soft drink consumption.

Ikeda: Soft drink is replacing milk in the diets of children. Kids are not getting enough calcium - particularly those who drink soft drinks on a regular basis. And it's putting these kids at higher risk of osteoporosis later.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.