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EDU 301 Educational Issues Childhood Obesity

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Running head: EDUCATIONAL ISSUES: CHILDHOOD OBESITY 1
Educational Issues Childhood Obesity
EDU 301

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EDUCATIONAL ISSUES: CHILDHOOD OBESITY 2
Educational Issues: Childhood Obesity
The National School Lunch Program is a program that is aided by the federal government
and functions in public schools, private schools, and child care institutions. The program was
established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. It
was created to offer nutritionally balanced, free or low cost lunches to children every day.
However, that idea has kind of shifted over the years and today we are at the opposite end.
School meals are not as healthy as they used to be and are contributing to the rising number of
obese children in the nation. Almost 25 million of children in America are labeled overweight or
officially obese. In 1963 the average weight of a 10 year old girl was about 77 pounds, and the
average weight of a 10 year old boy was about 74 pounds. Now the average weight of a girl has
risen to 88, and the weight of the average boy has increased to 85 pounds. Additionally,
childhood obesity presents a threat to the health care system increasing the medical care costs of
about $14 billion dollars a year to treat overweight children. If we don't do something more to
stop the escalation in childhood obesity, we are progressing towards having the first generation
of children who are sicker and die at an earlier age than their parents. Due to the Healthy,
Hunger-Free Kids Act supported by the First Lady and signed by President Obama, USDA
produced the first major changes in school meals in 15 years, which in my opinion will help us
nurture a healthier generation of children. This new program will help align school meals with
the latest science involving nutrition and real world conditions. It will help to do what is right for
the health of the children in a way that is achievable in all schools throughout the nation. Even
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is doing something to help, offering $500 million dollars,
the greatest amount of private money in the history, to support programs that fight childhood
obesity (Williams & Ellis, 04/0)

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EDUCATIONAL ISSUES: CHILDHOOD OBESITY 3
Reference
Williams, B. (Anchor)., & Ellis, R. (Reporter). (04/04/2007). "Epidemic" of Childhood Obesity
in U.S. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-
12/browse?cuecard=1964

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