TODAY   |  January 03, 2012

TODAY’s Professionals sound off on obesity

TODAY’s panel of experts, Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, tackle the hot-button issues of the day, including the Iowa elections and how to become “unplugged.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> to check in with "today's professionals," star jones , danny deutsche and dr. nancy snyderman . happy new year.

>> happy new year.

>> the iowa caucuses held tonight. we'll come on tomorrow and say this made or broke all kinds of political campaigns. do we put too much emphasis on this one contest?

>> no, because it allows you at the dinner table to talk about politics. i have a 17-year-old who will vote for its first time next year and explains the process of why it's important.

>> like the starting gun, like bam! we're off to the races.

>> i got two words for you, mike huckabee , two other words, pat buchanan . america's biggest audience participation reality show . i'm going to say whoever wins we're going to bring somebody else in.

>> i think we may it's make or break for a candidate.

>> not at all.

>> instant gratification.

>> it's he not make or break. i want people invested in the process.

>> we've gone from bachmann to perry, da, da, da, da, whoever wins tonight the audience will say i want another contestant.

>> let's move on, down in georgia they're trying to combat an epidemic of child obesity for 1 million children in that state are overweight or obese. they're starting an interesting psa campaign actually continuing it, let's look at a tape.

>> i don't like going to school because all the other kids pick on me. it hurts my feelings.

>> so here's the message, it's not about health problems with children being overweight, it's saying they're going to be ridiculed. effective?

>> i think that's one of the worst ads i've ever seen. obviously, star, no, let's say there's a child at home who is overweight and they feel great about themselves, you're putting them into you shouldn't feel good.

>> being a fat learn i lied to everybody when i told you oh, i feel so great. i didn't feel great. i couldn't walk. so when you're obese you can't walk. you cannot breathe. you are weighing down your limbs.

>> if i had a child that's overweight at this point and they are loving life and obviously it's my job to get them nutritional --

>> are they overweight or obese?

>> the difference is does it change anything and the answer is no. those ads will not change anything.

>> a parent might be more attentive to the health needs of a child?

>> no. and i have never been as depressed about a health care problem as i am about the obesity issue in the united states . i think we have a chance of bet getting an anti- cancer vaccine . this is going to kill us as a nation.

>> families have to talk about it honestly. it's like race.

>> i think that ad hits a dangerous spot. i did this for a living. i'm telling you, there's a child looking at that ad feeling bad about themselves.

>> you may feel something but i lived it.

>> sometimes it's best to leave things up in the air like this time. we just went through christmas, and i would say probably the most popular items for gifts for christmas, electronic gadgets, the smartphones and the tablets, everything that connects us in the world, and yet when you look at one of the trends for 2012 , and the "new york times" covered this twice in the last couple of days, it's quiet, unplugging. why the contradiction in terms?

>> one of the most dangerous things is that children are too connected. i think --

>> and adults.

>> and adults but particularly for children. there's no time for creativity, no time for them to figure out on their own what to do. as a parent one of the biggest jobs we have in the coming generation is making sure our kids are not plugged too much. you've got to teach your child how to get unplugged.

>> we've taken a big step back in our family, a huge step back from being plugged in to the point of pushing kids outside and quiet time and interacting, a lot of art. i have to say i think this is a necessary rebound from being too plugged in.

>> nancy, is there a physical need for quiet and is there emotional need for quiet?

>> a huge mind/body connection for restoring your brain and the health of your body, when you are so plugged in all the time, your stress chemicals are just surging through your body, hurts your heart, hurts your lungs. it's too much being intense.

>> i think quiet is for the spirit, like sleeping is for the body. it just re-vitalizes you, recharges your --

>> it ends up being a learned skill again though because kids are so connected now. you end up deprogramming them.

>> the side of the industry it will create is the whole industry of escape, hotels that allow you no we don't have internet connections, we don't have wide screen tvs, places where you can get away. how do you market quiet?

>> you market quiet exactly the way i said it, basically you can't do your child a disservice of taking away the ability to create, to think, to be on their own as individuals, versus being plugged in.

>> who laid with legos for a kid? i loved legos . they have a brand new line of products marketed specifically to girls. some argue it's sexist and stereo typical. the lady legos work in places like beauty salons, cupcake factories and vet offices.

>> they give you little electric mixers and brushes and combs and purses.

>> you're down on this.

>> when you're a little girl you want to build bridges also. you want to put them on top of each other.

>> buy the architectural legos .

>> which is the way my 3-year-old goddaughter does, she has the architectural one.

>> these are perfectly okay. the reality is there is a gender difference . girls like playing with girl things and you're still constructing things. if the cup take girl can still do calculus i have no issue.

>> i took my little girls to a craft studio where you paint and draw. they picked the cupcakes and the things, they were still learning to draw but they were doing it their way. having said that, though, what i do have a problem is when you separate 50 most powerful businesswomen, the more we separate men and women that's keeping the distinction.

>> it was typically acknowledged as a toy for boys. 9% of the american girls are building. the lego friends line is a result of four years of global research to attract girls to build.

>> architecture and math and design.

>> give them alternatives for goodness sake.

>> but there's no law that says they can't go to the store and buy the frank lloyd wright line.

>> they put the legos in the girls section.

>> girls like princesses and things like that.

>> and will there be parents who buy this for their boys?

>> that's probably not going to happen. let's have fun, i'm browsing a website last night, singapore airlines , singapore airlines has a new perk for their first class travelers. how's this, okay, if you are a couple traveling together, you can book those two center seats that recline completely, they will remove the center divider right there and they will make a double bed. now, does anyone else here think singapore airlines will get a whole lot more than they bargain bargained for?

>> that is sexy beyond belief.

>> there are other people around you.

>> can it fit three? [ laughter ]

>> there's not enough oxygen masks in the area.

>> don't you think people are going to try to stretch the envelope there?

>> they do already. absolutely.

>> the mile-high club, i've been in the bathrooms.

>> this is a double bed, donny.

>> there's a little partition that goes up.

>> but there's noise. noise.

>> you have to be quiet.

>> i can see in your eye you like this.

>> i like it as a topic but is this going to turn flight attendants into chaperones, are they going to have to walk over and go are you just spooning under that duve? what's going on?

>> they put a partition on the side.

>> look at the picture quickly. it doesn't go up all the way. see the guy standing there, you can look in that.

>> take a test drive. let's do it.

>> let's all go to singapore airlines and see what we can do.

>> we'll all cuddle.

>> finally we'll end on this. steve johnson who is a receiver for the buffalo bills , found himself benched and his team penalized 15 yards after scoring a touchdown in sunday's game, johnson lifted his jersey, a guy who has had a history of showing off in the end zone but lifted his jersey and under it he had a t-shirt on that said "happy new year." should that be against the rules?

>> yes.

>> no.

>> slippery slope. the next guy pulls up and says "buy nike sneakers. "?

>> how is it different than tebowing? he's saying happy new year.

>> this guy has been put on notice by his coach. he got a 15 yard penalty, it penalized the bills and helped the patriots and anything that helps the patriots gets on my nerve, absolutely.

>> let's end it there. you