Report: School Involvement Critical in the Obesity Fight
|May 11, 2012||Posted by Stacy under School policy|
It was hard to miss this week’s staggering news on the battle of the bulge: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now predicts that 42 percent of the American population will be obese and 11 percent will be severely obese by the year 2030.
Meanwhile, at a waistline-focused meeting of the minds in Washington D.C., the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent nonprofit that provides authoritative and unbiased advice on health matters, highlighted five strategies with the greatest potential of combating this growing trend. One of them focused on the critical role of our schools, offering specific recommendations that included:
- Schools adopting strong nutritional standards for all foods and beverages sold or provided on school grounds
- Teaching kids in grades K-12 about food and nutrition science
The report specifically states that all school districts providing foods and beverages to children have a responsibility to provide them with ones that promote health and learning. That means no sugar-sweetened drinks (think soda, sports drinks and flavored milk). Ditto for low nutrient foods such as chips, cookies, cupcakes and brownies.
“Federal, state, and local decision makers are responsible for ensuring that nutrition standards based on the Dietary Guidelines are adopted by schools. These decision makers—along with regulatory agencies, parents, teachers, and food manufacturers—must ensure that these standards are implemented and…adherence…monitored so as to protect the health of the nation’s children and adolescents.” ~Institute of Medicine’s Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation
See a full copy of the IOM report here.
If I’ve lost you with all the jargon, here’s what it boils down to: From the board of education to moms and dads, we all share the responsibility for making sure students aren’t consuming a steady diet of Coke and Cheetos. Because our kids need–and deserve–more.