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Children's rates of obesity have been increasing in the last 20 years. After writing about the controversial add campaign targeted for obese children in Georgia “Stop Sugarcoating It, Georgia” in my last article I thought I would write about suggestions that institutions could make to help the problem.
So in this blog I want to talk about the role that our legislators are being asked to plan in combating childhood obesity. A few years ago a report titled F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009 was released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It discusses the state of obesity in the United States.
Even though this report was written two years ago it is still relevant to the issues of obesity and childhood obesity in 2012. The main message is that 23 states have increased the rates of obesity since last year and children’s obesity has risen to 30 percent across the country. These numbers are consistent with the trends over the past 20 years and the problem of obesity for children and adults is continuing to grow.
I think many doctors, legislators, and community organizers that are concerned about this issue of obesity overall and especially for our children. I think that it's important to have powerful leaders and legislation looking into ways to improve the health of our children.
The report suggested that institutions and municipalities take ownership of this issue and regulate it to reduce the rising rates of obesity for adults and children. In institutions such as schools they recommend schools provide healthy food and beverages for their children. Schools are also encouraged create more physical activities to happen with more frequency and intensity during the school day.
It recommended that municipalities looking at financial interventions to allow families access to healthy nutrient dense food to feed their children to in their communities.
They can also provide safe and health places to live, work, learn and play. Finally it recommends limiting screen time for children.