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Child Poverty in Kentucky, David Kessler on the American Appetite for Sugar: Today’s Here and Now

Here’s what we’re planning today on Here and Now:

1:06pm: Speaking to a supporter in Iowa this week, President Obama said he would announce “a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control our deficit.” White House officials say that announcement will come in September. There is a strong debate within the White House over the specifics and the approach — with some aides arguing for a more combative stance on economic issues; others, like senior political advisor David Plouffe making the case for a pragmatic strategy to appeal to independent voters.
Guest: Binyamin Appelbaum, Washington Correspondent for the New York Times.

1:12pm: From caramel sauce for apple slices in a child’s fast food meal to whipped cream on top of a cup of coffee — Americans are surrounded by super-sweet, high-in-calorie-‘extras’. David Kessler is the former head of the FDA and has written about how the American palate craves sweet things. He’s the author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.

1:40pm: The latest Kids Count report shows that child poverty is growing in Kentucky and across the US. But there’s some good news, too. We’ll talk about the report, and we’ll get a local perspective on the Kentucky numbers.
Guests: Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO, Annie E Casey Foundation; Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

2011 Kids Count Data Book

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Local News

Kentucky Remains 41st In Child Well-Being Report

For the second straight year, Kentucky ranks 41st in the nation for the overall well-being of its children.

That’s according to the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book compiled by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks says Kentucky showed improvement over the past year in four of ten child well-being indicators, but the numbers are worse in five others and stayed the same in one area.

“I cannot imagine that if the Chamber of Commerce’s annual report card came out and that 50 percent of its indicators showed a decline that we would not have a state of emergency in the commonwealth,”  Brooks said.

He said Kentucky showed significant improvement in its teen death rate, thanks to a new graduated drivers license law.   However there are higher percentages of low birthweight babies and children living in poverty.

 Indiana ranks 31st overall in the data book.  New Hampshire is first;  Mississippi is last.   

The report can be found here.