Addressing childhood overweight through schools.
Sommaire de l'article
Rates of childhood obesity in have reached alarming proportions in many countries. Sixteen percent of school-aged children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight. Legislation implemented in 2004 in the U.S. requires local education agencies (LEAs) that sponsor school meal programs to establish local wellness policies to address childhood obesity. Project PA, a collaboration between a state agency and a university providing school-based interventions focuses on the school environment and policy changes. Interventions have targeted foodservice personnel, administrators, teachers, parents and students. In two recent projects schools assessed their school nutrition environments, developed nutrition policies, and implemented strategies to encourage healthier food selections. Schools identified weaknesses in the areas of marketing and communication of policies. Media attention on the childhood obesity facilitated policy changes. Time and cost were identified as barriers to policy development and there were concerns about weak enforcement of policies. These themes are discussed.