Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Changes in School Reduced Childhood Obesity

As we have noted on this blog before, childhood obesity is a serious problem worldwide. And in the U.S., school districts are taking measures to deal with the problem. One of the measures being taken is an effort to make school cafeteria food healthier. Indeed, a recent study has shown that, along with taking other actions, putting healthier food in cafeterias can improve childhood weight management.

The study was a three year government study. The study's researchers made food and physical activity changes, and then followed 4,600 middle school students to examine the students' responses to the changes . The changes the researchers made included putting healthier food in the students' cafeteria, and improving the food available in other places the students might eat, such as snack bars, class events and vending machines. The students' school physical activities were also increased. These interventions improved the health of the students.

For example, the middle school students in the study experienced reduced fat in the abdomen and improved insulin sensitivity. And students in the study "who began the sixth grade overweight or obese were 21 percent less likely to be obese in three years."

School districts around the country -- and the world -- might review the study results and use them to enhance childhood weight management methods. Further, weight loss practitioners could work with school districts to help the districts establish healthier activities at the school site and the surrounding area. The weight management practitioners could also work with parents to help them introduce healthier diets and more physical activity in the home.

Reducing childhood obesity is important to schools and to parents. Since obesity can be an impediment to future success, bariatric or medical weight loss practitioners should be welcomed by schools districts and parents in the fight to curb obesity during the middle school years.

Finally, the above study indicates that successful childhood weight management can be achieved by combining healthy food with increased physical activity. Therefore, a weight loss center that effectively promotes healthy-food and increased-activity measures could legitimately market itself as a leader in understanding and fighting childhood obesity.

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Anonymous Clay Boggess said...

It is good that efforts are being made in the schools to reduce childhood obesity; however if an effort is not made to do the same in the home, the results won't have the same impact. Educating parents to make sure that their children are eating correctly and exercising regularly is vital. Once a pattern is established, it can be more easily maintained over the long term as well.

July 7, 2010 at 3:13 AM  

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