With nearly a third of American kids and teens overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, it's clear that the battle to control the obesity epidemic must be fought — and won — well beyond the home front.
Schools, restaurants, retailers, food makers, and government agencies joined the fight against childhood obesity in 2006. Schools introduced a host of new wellness policies to improve physical activity, nutrition education, and the food served at school. Some schools worked to remove fast-food outlets, soda machines, and food advertising from campus. The nation's three largest soft drink companies announced they'd replace sodas in schools with healthier alternatives. Meanwhile, there were movements in New York and Chicago to outlaw trans fats in restaurants and list nutrition information on menus.
As programs to combat obesity begin to proliferate, attention has turned toward monitoring them to find out what's working. Ideally, that will result in support and expansion of programs that prove effective for all populations. Now that obesity is recognized as an epidemic and its threat to global health is more fully understood, the battle against it is likely to penetrate every corner of kids' lives ― from their school cafeterias and classrooms to the commercials they see and the snacks they get on sports fields.
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