Preventing Obesity among School Children through Healthier School Meals

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Preventing Obesity Among School Children through Healthier School Meals Obesity and overweight are among the pressing health problems among children and adolescents in the developed world. Obesity refers to an excess amount of body fat whereas overweight can be measured by the BMI index or height-weight ratio. According to the WHO (2012), obesity and overweight are the fifth largest risk for global deaths. Introduction Obesity and overweight among children and adolescents has increased to more than a third of children and adolescents (CDC, 2012). Children and adolescents consume 700 to 1000 more calories per day than required (NCCOR, 2012). School lunches mostly consist of fried and salty foods, which has prompted ex-military officers to call for legislation on healthy school lunches (Spillius, 2010). Problem Identification Such children are likely to have higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later years (CDC, 2012). Obesity in children and adolescents can lead to greater susceptibility to the following in later years: Asthma High blood pressure Bone and joint problems Sleep apnea Low self-esteem Problem Identification Children and adolescents often resort to unhealthy ways of controlling weight including: Crash diets Binge eating, leading to bulimia nervosa Starvation Drugs, e.g. cocaine Laxatives Hence, there is a need to develop healthy ways of controlling obesity in children. Problem Identification
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