Obesity Rate Drops Among Low-Income Preschoolers – Education Week

By guest blogger Christina A. Samuels

After decades of increases, the obesity rate among young, low-income children showed a decline in 19 states, according to information released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The findings came from weight and height data collected in 2008-2011 from about 11.6 million low-income children ages 2 to 4 who live in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories. The states and territories participated in a monitoring system called the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System.

via Obesity Rate Drops Among Low-Income Preschoolers – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.

Obesity Is a Disease, Rules American Medical Association – Education Week

The American Medical Association announced yesterday afternoon that it now considers obesity a disease, a decision with professional ramifications for pediatricians and policy ramifications in a number of areas.

The AMA’s House of Delegates, its legislative and policymaking body, made the decision at its annual meeting in Chicago. At the very least, it’s a symbolic step toward changing what many view as a self-imposed condition. But it also stands to influence research, insurance, treatment, and, of course, politics.

Obesity Is a Disease, Rules American Medical Association – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.

EdSource Today: Report: Schools must do more to keep kids active

With one in three U.S. children overweight or obese – and an even higher percentage of children in California – the Institute of Medicine is asking schools to step up and do more to keep children physically active throughout the day.

In a report released Thursday, the Institute called for schools to provide at least 60 minutes of physical activity for students a day, a regimen that could include before- and after-school activity and movement breaks in the classroom, as well as vigorous physical education classes. The Institute, an independent organization established as the health arm of the National Academies, also asked that physical education be deemed a core subject.

via Report: Schools must do more to keep kids active – by Jane Meredith Adams.

Education Week: Groups Weigh in on Proposed School Snack, Vending Rules

High school students don’t need to have access to caffeine on campus. Snacks sold at elementary and middle schools shouldn’t have as many calories as those sold at high schools. And maybe schools shouldn’t have vending machines or a la carte lunch lines at all.

These and other thoughts are among thousands sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the last few months in response to the agency’s proposal for changing the nutritional standards of vending-machine fare and other items sold at school aside from school lunches and breakfasts. (Comments were due last week.)

via Groups Weigh in on Proposed School Snack, Vending Rules.

Education Week: Strict Rules for School Meals Could Cut Obesity in Low-Income Students

New federal school lunch regulations that require more servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole-grain content, less salt and fat, and limits on calories could yield a legion of children from low-income families who escape a trend of childhood obesity.

A study published Monday online in JAMA Pediatrics looked at states that cracked down on the content of school meals even before new federal school meal standards, which took effect this school year. A smaller share of students who received free or reduced-price lunches that had to meet these higher nutritional standards—about 12 percent—were overweight than was the case for students who did not eat school lunches.

via Strict Rules for School Meals Could Cut Obesity in Low-Income Students.

The Educated Guess: Forbidden fruit roll-ups: USDA plans to restrict school snacks

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing regulations to keep the nation’s students from buying gummy bears, fruit roll-ups and cheese puffs from vending machines and at campus snack bars during the school day. But it would allow high school students to buy 12-ounce sports drinks and 20-ounce diet sodas.

The rules would apply only during the school day, allowing candy sales and other fundraisers to continue during non-school hours (half an hour after the school day ends) and at off-campus events. A limited number of such fundraisers could occur during the school day, and parents would be able to pack whatever they choose in their children’s lunch bags and bring cupcakes or other treats for special events such as birthdays.

via Forbidden fruit roll-ups: USDA plans to restrict school snacks – by Susan Frey.

NPR Topics: Education: At School, Overweight Children Carry A Heavy Burden

by Kavitha Cardoza

One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Significant numbers of those young people are grappling with health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Those conditions can be difficult for children to manage in any setting, but they can pose particular challenges for children during the school day.

Dr. Yolandra Hancock used to be an elementary school teacher, and it shows. She’s patient, encouraging and has an endearing way of ending her sentences with “my love” and “my sweet.”

Her patients include a 13-year-old who weighs 400 pounds; a child whose teeth are so rotted she can’t bite into carrots; and many preteens who are diabetic. Today, Hancock is examining Derek Lyles, 13. He’s 4 feet 11 inches and weighs 256 pounds.

via At School, Overweight Children Carry A Heavy Burden.

California Watch: K–12: Study links childhood obesity to poorer math performance

Joanna Lin

Obese children face risks to their emotional and social well-being that can harm their academic performance, new research suggests.

The study, published today in the journal Child Development, found obese elementary school children performed worse on math tests than their peers without weight problems.

A lack of social acceptance could account for the lower test scores, researchers said. Obese children who do not feel accepted by their peers often exhibit feelings of loneliness, sadness and anxiety that can hinder their academic performance.

Those feelings became even more apparent as the children progressed through school, according to the study.

via Study links childhood obesity to poorer math performance.

Suisun City Patch: Close to Half Of Suisun City Children Are Overweight, Study Says

New data shows childhood obesity persisting throughout the state, and presents troubling figures on the local level.

Suisun City has the highest percentage of overweight and obese children in Solano County— nearly half of kids in the city fall into those categories, according to the study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

The first-of-its-kind study breaks down the statistics city by city. It shows Suisun City leads the county with 46.3 percent, compared to lowest Benicia at 29.9 percent. Fairfield has 39.3 percent. The figure for California is 38 percent.

Overweight and Obesity among Children by California City–2010 analyzes more than 250 California cities, finding “shocking discrepancies based on locale,” according to the report.

via Close to Half Of Suisun City Children Are Overweight, Study Says.

Daily Republic: Public concerned with childhood obesity

A recent California Field Poll reported that the public believes bad eating habits and lack of physical exercise are the biggest health risks for children today, even bigger than violence and drug use. The poll was taken on behalf of the California Endowment, a private statewide health foundation. Poll results were gratifying, some health officials said, because it pointed out that childhood obesity is not just an individual problem but a community problem as well.

via Public concerned with childhood obesity.

Daily Republic: Cordelia Hills Elementary stays fit without the funding

FAIRFIELD — With major cuts across the district, physical education programs at elementary schools have faced the brunt of it.

After P.E. programs and teachers were eliminated nearly two years ago, Cordelia Hills Elementary School had the tough task of keeping children fit with limited time and resources.

via Cordelia Hills Elementary stays fit without the funding.