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Can Schools Fight Childhood Obesity?

Education World – Staff Writer

“According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health, childhood obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled since 1980. The percentage of obese and overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 U.S. states. Scientists predict this might be the first generation of Americans in 200 years to have shorter life spans than their parents.” (more)

New school of thought: In-class physical exercise won’t disrupt learning, teaching

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“As childhood obesity rates rise and physical education offerings dwindle, elementary schools keep searching for ways to incorporate the federally mandated half-hour of physical activity into the school day. A series of recent University of Michigan studies found that two-minute bursts of in-class exercise breaks increased the amount of daily exercise for elementary children without hurting math performance. More importantly, when incorporated into classrooms across southeast Michigan, teachers found the breaks were doable and didn’t disrupt learning.” (more)

USDA delays healthy school lunch requirements

The Hill – Lydia Wheeler

“The Trump administration is delaying Obama-era requirements aimed at making school meals healthier for kids. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an interim final rule Wednesday allowing schools to serve flavored one-percent milk and get a state exemption to serve grains that are not whole-grain rich through the 2018-2019 school year. Schools under the rule also get out of having to further reduce sodium levels in breakfasts and lunches next year.”(more)

Less than 50 percent of U.K. adolescents eat fruit or veg daily

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Less than 50 per cent of adolescents in the UK eat fruit or vegetables every day, according to the latest research from the University of St Andrews. However, in a new international study, researchers also found that young people in the UK are eating fewer sweets and drinking less fizzy juice than they did 15 years ago. The findings are part of an international WHO (World Health Organization) report into childhood obesity to be presented at a major meeting in Portugal today (Wednesday 17 May 2017). The report, which looked at the health and wellbeing of young people around the world, examined their behaviours over a 12 year period (2002 to 2014).”(more)

Being overweight in childhood may heighten lifetime risk of depression

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“New research presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity suggests that being overweight, especially from a young age, may substantially increase the lifetime risk of major depression. The study by Deborah Gibson-Smith from VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands and colleagues found that being overweight at age 8 or 13 was associated with more than triple the risk of developing major depression at some point in their lives, whilst carrying excess weight over a lifetime (both as a child and as an adult) quadrupled the chance of developing depression compared to only being overweight as an adult.”(more)

Child’s Play Is Good for All of Us

The New York Times – Gretchen Reynolds

“If all of the children who currently are sedentary started exercising every day, societies could save enormous amounts of money in the coming decades and have healthier citizens as a whole, according to a remarkable new study. In the United States alone, we could expect to save more than $120 billion every year in health care and associated expenses.”(more)