Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eliminating junk foods at schools may help prevent childhood obesity

02.03.2010
New policies that eliminate sugary beverages and junk foods from schools may help slow childhood obesity, according to a San Francisco State University study released today and published in the March issue of the journal Health Affairs.

"This is one of the very first comprehensive investigations that examined whether childhood obesity trends changed after new statewide policies were enacted in California," said the study's first author Emma Sanchez-Vaznaugh, assistant professor of health education at SF State. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research, New Connections Program funded the $100,000 project.

Childhood obesity is increasingly prevalent in the United States, with obesity rates more than tripling during the last 30 years. Today, one in three children is either overweight or obese. Last year, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported the first leveling of these child obesity rates. However, there were no reasons given as to why trends might have stalled.

Between 2003 and 2005, Governor Shwarzenegger signed SB 677, SB 965 and SB 12 into law, the first comprehensive set of statewide policies to eliminate sodas and other highly sweetened beverages and restrict the sale of junk foods in all of California's public schools. Although many other states subsequently enacted similar standards, potential effects on childhood obesity were uncertain.

Sanchez-Vaznaugh and co-investigators used eight years of body mass index (BMI) data from fifth and seventh grade students collected as part of California's annual Physical Fitnessgram testing. The study compared BMI trends in the years preceding the enactment of the legislation with the years following the legislation. The data show that before the policies took effect, the rate of overweight students was increasing among all groups in the study (girls and boys in fifth and seventh grades). However, in the three year period after the policies became effective, the increase in the number of overweight children was significantly reduced among fifth-grade boys and seventh-grade students of both sexes throughout California. The pre- and post-policy trends in overweight were not significantly different among fifth-grade girls.

The researchers also looked at children in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) separately, because the district passed slightly stricter, but otherwise similar policies in their district the year before the passage of California's SB 677. Prior to the implementation of the policy there was an upward trend of overweight fifth and seventh-grade students in the Los Angeles area. When the researchers compared these trends in the period after the new policies were implemented, they found that the increasing trend in the number of overweight fifth-grade students in the Los Angeles significantly slowed. There were no significant changes among seventh-grade students in Los Angeles.

"Although policymakers cannot directly influence student behavior, our study shows that governmental policies can help define the environment in which children learn to make food choices and thus shape the food behaviors, influencing overweight trends in entire student populations," Sanchez-Vaznaugh said. She also cautions that there is still a lot to do to stem obesity in California's public schools.

She cites school campus proximity -- particularly in poorer neighborhoods -- to stores selling unhealthful foods and beverages that stand in opposition to nutritional objectives set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Limited resources and budget cuts hamper schools from offering both healthful, good-tasting alternatives and physical education programs. "Only about 40 percent of children in our study were considered physically fit," Sanchez-Vaznaugh said.

In addition to teaching at SF State, Sanchez-Vaznaugh is a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of California San Francisco's Center on Social Disparities in Health. The study's senior author was Patricia Crawford, director of the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at University of California, Berkeley. Co-investigators were Brisa Sanchez and Jonggyu Baek from the University of Michigan.

The study, "'Competitive' food and beverage policies: are they influencing childhood overweight trends?" was published in Health Affairs, a leading peer-reviewed U.S. health policy journal http://www.healthaffairs.org/

Denize Springer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sfsu.edu

Further reports about: BMI BMI trends Sanchez-Vaznaugh eliminating health services junk foods

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>