Over the past several years childhood obesity in Elementary age children has been on the rise. This may be due to a decrease in physical activities as well as a lack of nutritional meals served in school cafeterias. Approximately 40 percent of children are at an increased risk of becoming overweight or are already overweight according to a report from Children in Balance (Demorris). The major group that are at a higher risk for childhood obesity are those from racial and ethnic minorities (Demorris). In an effort to tackle the problem of childhood obesity First Lady Michelle Obama has just launched a campaign called “Let’s Move” which was designed to decrease the current childhood obesity rate to 5 percent which is what it was in the 1970’s (Office of the Press Secretary). According to Mrs. Obama, “For the first time, the nation will have goals, benchmarks, and measureable outcomes that will help us tackle the childhood obesity epidemic one child, one family, and one community at a time,” (Office of the Press Secretary). In the most current data it was advised that nearly 20 percent of Elementary school children nationally are overweight. Based on a population-sample of 5- to 17-year-olds more than half of the overweight youths (70% to be exact) were at risk of developing heart disease (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Additional complication that may develop for both obese Children and Adults include sleep apnea, joint and bone problems as well as psychological and social implications which may result in lower self esteem (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). During a survey that was conducted between 2006 and 2010 it was discovered that the vending machines found in almost half of all schools whether public or private sold only salty or sweet snacks (USA Today). In a comparison of schools in the West versus schools in the South where the obesity rate is the highest it was revealed that the schools in the West were the least likely to sell chips, cookies or similar snacks in relation to schools in the South where those snacks were sold in abundance (USA Today). According to Lindsey Turner who is a health psychologist at the University of Illinois the majority of schools are not abiding by the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine who are known to be health advocates wherein 2007 they published a report appealing that all schools minimize the access of snacks outside the allotted mealtime especially those served in a vending machine which are high in salt, sugar and fat (USA Today). Most schools are now offering snacks that are low in fat and salt and moving towards more baked snacks such as pretzels and ice cream that is low in fat but are still not considered to be good choices due to their high sugar and salt compound (USA Today). Since the Anti obesity advocates launched their campaign to remove and have a ban imposed on the availability of sodas which are high in sugar from schools there has been a significant decline in the sale of these drinks in schools as was highlighted in a 2010 report (USA Today). The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated a policy that had prohibited schools from providing meals "of minimal nutritional value" (USA Today). With a new change by the USDA the focus has now been targeted at providing more nutritional meals to be served in schools that will consist of more whole grains and less sodium as well as providing more nutritional snacks outside of mealtime to fruits and vegetables and cutting down on unhealthy (junk) snacks that may distract children from making the healthy choice (USA Today) With First Lady Michelle Obama on the attack of combating the childhood obesity endemic she has partnered with the Domestic Policy Council as well as the Childhood Obesity Task Force to create an action plan entitled “Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation “(Office of the Press Secretary).
Based on the issues the committee cited a list of...
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