The Obama administration’s school lunch regulations and anti-obesity programs actually made the nation’s children fatter and less healthy, according to a damning new report in Pediatrics journal.
Despite CNN’s 2015 glowing report on the Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, obesity among children rose sharply after the introduction of the Obama’s school lunch regulations, according to the report.
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Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign and federal student lunch regulations attempted to counteract the rising rates of severe and moderate obesity, but the results were disastrous for the health of children, the authors wrote.
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“We have known about this epidemic of childhood obesity — and have been pouring research dollars and public health dollars into this problem — for at least 20 years,” Sarah Armstrong, associate pediatrics professor at Duke University who assisted in analyzing data for the study told NPR. “And despite that, we don’t seem to be making a big dent in the situation.”
Researchers at Virginia Tech also found that poorer children who ate free meals at school provided by the government were more likely to become overweight.
“We found that the longer children were in the programs, the higher their risk of being overweight,” Dr. Wen You, a professor at Virginia Tech who authored the research, said in a statement.
“We also saw the most negative effect of the government-funded school meal programs in the South, the Northeast, and rural areas of the country.”
“While well-intentioned, these government funded school meal programs that are aimed at making kids healthy are in fact making participating students more at risk of being overweight.”
Daily Caller reports: Some categories for obesity are getting much worse in 2016 compared to the preceding years. “Children aged 2 to 5 years showed a sharp increase in obesity prevalence from 2015 to 2016 compared with the previous cycle,” the study says. The rate of older adolescent females rose from 36 to 41 percent in the same period.
In an editorial accompanying the recent research, Dr. David Ludwig of Boston Children’s Hospital argued that while we have a good idea of what drives obesity, including “poor diet quality, excessive sedentary time, inadequate physical activity, stress, sleep deprivation, perinatal factors,” America lacks the strategies to address the issues.
The authors concluded that “more resources are clearly necessary” for public health programs to address the rising obesity rates, but noted that previous programs may have had more of an impact in certain populations.