Finally something is being done to tackle obesity in schools

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The proportion of obesity in our children is increasing rapidly and teaching, to a certain extent, is laid at the door of our school. It is not surprising that we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of articles talking about childhood obesity and cafeteria food.

In the past 20 years, the incidence of overweight among 6 to 11 year olds has increased from 7% to nearly 18.8% while the incidence among teenagers has increased from 5% to 17.1%. and, until recently, there has been no regulation of foods available in schools that have been left to provide what they want through the school cafeterias, vending machines and snack bars.

report, however, entitled “Nutrition Standards for Food in schools :. Leading the Way to Healthier Youth ‘has now been released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Institute of Medicine detailing nutritional standards schools must adopt

The report begins by dividing food Tier 1 foods (foods containing at least one serving of fruit, vegetables and / or whole grain foods or non-fat or low-fat dairy products) and Tier 2 foods (foods are not included as Tier 1 foods but are nevertheless considered to be acceptable in nutritional terms in limited quantities). The report then goes on to detail what schools can and can not do. For example:

1. Food and beverages offered in school should be restricted to Tier 1 foods.

2. Snack items should not contain excess 200 calories per serving.

3. Foods and beverages should be free from caffeine. This standard will not apply to foods that contain natural caffeine-related topics as long as they are in only trace amounts.

4. Beverages containing non-nutritive sweeteners should only be available for children and high school should only be allowed after the end of the school day.

5. Food, snacks and drinks should not have more than 35% of their calories as provided for total sugars. This standard will not apply 100% fruit or fruit juices have no added sugar, 100% vegetable or vegetable juice has no added sugar and unflavored fat and low-fat milk or yogurt.

6 Snack items should not contain in excess of 200 mg of salt.

7. Foods and beverages should not be used as a form of either reward or punishment.

8. Sports drinks should only be available for students who are involved in high-intensity sports programs where these activities lasting at least one hour.

9. Food, snacks and drinks should not have more than 35% of their calories provided by fat. In addition, no more than 10% of their calories should come from saturated fat and they should contain no trans fats.

10. Plain, potable water (ie water which is not carbonated, hot or flavored) should be available for students all day free of charge.

This is, of course, are just some of the grant report notes, the show finally we are starting to do something to stop the rise of obesity among our children in school.

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