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Efforts to Fight Soaring Obesity Rates: Working or Worthless?

(NEW YORK) -- As childhood obesity rates soar, classroom lessons in nutrition and physical activity like the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign are becoming more prevalent. A new study finds while many of these programs are on the right track, there are some crucial pieces missing.

The study involved 26 school-based nutrition interventions in the United States. There, investigators performed a content analysis of kindergarten through 12th-grade school-based nutrition interventions which fit into the study's 10 components proposed for developing future effective school-based nutrition interventions.

Findings from this study reveal that classroom nutrition education (85 percent) followed by parental involvement at home (62 percent) were the two intervention components used most often. Less frequent components included establishment of food service guidelines (15 percent), community involvement (15 percent), inclusion of ethnic/cultural groups (15 percent), inclusion of incentives for schools (12 percent), and involvement of parents at school (eight percent).

This study documents that although many components of nutrition education have been successfully included in our children's school-based interventions, there are still some missing links.

"Schools continue to be an important location for childhood obesity prevention interventions. However, it is imperative that school-based interventions be developed and implemented to achieve maximum results,” said lead author Dr. Mary Roseman, who conducted this work while at the University of Kentucky and the University of Mississippi.

Copyright 2011 ABC Radio News

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