Nick probably shouldn't watch so much TV. But that's easy for me to say. What else is he going to do? Ever since a kid from his neighborhood pricked himself with a syringe he'd found in the street, Nick's mom hasn't let him play outside after school unless she's around. And she can't afford to cut back her hours to be at home with him more.
He also probably shouldn't eat so much fatty food and drink so much sweet stuff. But there's a convenience store and a pizza place right around the corner. To get groceries his mom either has to skip her lunch and pay more at the shop near work or she's got use her day off to take two buses to the closest grocery store around here. And then she can only buy as much as she can carry.
And Nick must walk by soda machines, like, 30 times over the course of the day. And he's probably seen thousands of ads for those same sodas. What is a kid, or his mother, supposed to do?
Miguel maybe has it a bit easier. He can safely play outside. His parents have more time and more money to help take care of him. His school gives him a chance to get some exercise. Maybe that's partly why he's not overweight…at least not yet. There is other stuff going on that's not setting him up so perfectly to eat well and be active—I don't know if you noticed…
…But I've been running my mouth about these kids long enough. It's not my job to figure out what's going on in their lives.
But, sorta, it is Anita's job. Anita's this woman that the health department hired to come take a look at some local neighborhoods and schools, including Nick's and Miguel's. She's supposed to figure out why so many kids around here are fat or on their way there, and what to do about it.
Anita figured that she couldn't hack this alone, so she's pulled together a few people she knows to help her out—this gal she knows who teaches people about nutrition, the county rec coordinator, and a nurse friend of hers from work.