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Schools Are the Answer to Childhood Obesity

According to the Institute of Medicine, schools “should be a major focal point for preventing the spread of obesity”.  The latest evidence is that one-third of children can now be considered overweight or obese.  The institute predicts that the health care costs associated with obesity could become “catastrophic” in future years.

The institute states that since children spend most of their waking hours in school, “schools are in a unique position to support student in getting optimum physical activity”.  The institute further suggests that students should get 60 minutes worth of physical activity every day.

Schools do have a role in maintaining children’s health.  They need to insure that children’s lunches are nutritious and healthy.  But as far as providing an hour a day of physical activity the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics should talk to Department of Education officials and state legislatures.  The demands of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, etc.  has resulted in a decrease, and in some cases an elimination of all “unnecessary (which equals non-tested) subjects”.   Outside agencies believe that school need to have additional  responsibilities are not aware of the realities of financing, political realities as well as time-factored limitations that schools now face.   

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