Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A new report says schools should be a cornerstone of the nation's obesity battle. But to trim Americans' waistlines, changes are needed everywhere people live, work, play and learn.
The Institute of Medicine report comes as obesity specialists hunt solutions to a seemingly intractable epidemic. Two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost a third of children are either overweight or obese.
The institute recommends that schools require at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily and serve better food, since schools are where children spend up to half of their waking hours and consume many of their daily calories.
But the report makes clear that strategies must be society-wide — from workplace wellness programs to healthier restaurant food to better insurance coverage for obesity prevention.