How are schools dealing with childhood obesity

Published on
July 9, 2012

In the past several years, the U.S. has struggled to try to get a handle on childhood obesity. Obesity rates are climbing and with them the prospects for major health problems later in life for teens.

Already, doctors are seeing signs of adult diabetes surfacing in children. Strokes among children are rising and obesity could surpass alcoholism for the major cause of liver damage later in life.

Against this backdrop, policy makers are looking at the role schools can play in fighting childhood obesity.

In Colorado, lawmakers passed a state law in 2011 requiring each public school district to insure that elementary school students get 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

My project will focus on how schools are implementing the law and what sort of exercise are students really getting.  We will investigate what is going on at about dozen of the state’s districts.

Many districts already had cut physical education, art and music classes to concentrate on the math, writing and English skills that are the subject of statewide testing.

We have already found out that several districts fought the legislation and their trade associations got it watered down.