On a national level, with First Lady Michelle Obama leading the charge, we are striving to address obesity in children. This makes sense, attack the problem in our formative years and we should see a decrease in obesity in adults. A new study from the University of Michigan into childhood obesity seems to support Michelle Obama’s school lunch initiatives.
As a nation we have a strange relationship to obesity. For all our modern convinces and highly processes and sugared foods, there are a lot of obese people with other related health problems throughout the US.
In a new study, which will be officially published in September by Pediatrics, authored by University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, that links some differences in gender and activities related to obesity in sixth grade children. This study builds off of another study by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center published July 2010 by the American Heart Journal.
Both studies agree that low activity along with sugary beverages has lead to the high instances of obesity. They also showed that children who watched more than 2 hours of television every day, regardless of gender, are 60% more likely to become obese.
The study took data from 1,714 sixth grade students, average age 11, enrolled in Project Healthy Schools. The sixth graders came from 20 schools in southeastern Michigan communities which were eligible for participation in the study.
The study found that while the rate of obesity decreased among young girls who reported drinking at least two servings of milk, the same was not true among boy of the same age.
Boys who played on a sports team, exercising for at least 20 minutes every day, were also healthier and less obese. Again, the same was not found to be true for girls in the study.
Both studies, however, did show a higher level of obesity was found in children who regularly ate school provided lunches. This is the only area that we, as a nation, can systemically effect on and can be addressed.
“Although we were not able to examine the specific nutritional content of school lunches, previous research suggests school lunches include nutrient-poor and calorie-rich foods,” said Elizabeth Jackson, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, and an author of the new study.
This may all help support the First Lady Michelle Obama’s push of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. An initiative which alters the menu and caloric count provided in school lunches. It would seem that both studies would support the First Lady’s push for changing school meals to help reduce instances of obesity, regardless to what critics may say about the program.
By Iam Bloom