Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trends in Childhood Obesity and Recent Legislative Measures

Obesity issues continue to threaten the health of children across the country. Recent reports have indicated a decline in obesity rates among most children. However, a study of 8 million California teens found that obesity rates for African-American and Hispanic females have experienced steady growth since 2005.

The California statistics indicate both racial and gender disparities in obesity rates. While the obesity rate for African American and Hispanic females has grown, the numbers reflect a decline in obesity rates among Asian and white males and females as well as Hispanic males. Such reports are timely as the Senate recently passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

If signed into law, the bill would allocate $3.2 billion to improve school meals, $1.2 billion to increase the number of children receiving school lunches, and require the Department of Agriculture to create standards for all food sold in public schools. Michelle Obama has served as a huge proponent of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act as part of her Let's Move initiative. Conversely, critics note the elimination of $2.2 billion from Food Stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to subsidize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

For updated news on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

For more on ensuring children are healthy and prepared to succeed in school.

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