IRVINE, Calif., June 28 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say school obesity “interventions” — healthier cafeteria food, more intense gym classes, education — can have a significant impact.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found a 21 percent lower rate of obesity in children in schools offering “intervention” programs.
“This is the first-ever study to show you can reduce obesity and other risks for type 2 diabetes in kids and do it in schools with at-risk, high-ethnic-minority populations,” principal investigator Dr. Dan Cooper said in a statement. “It emphasizes that schools can have a tremendous positive impact on a child’s health.”
Cooper and colleagues were part of a nationwide study that included 4,603 students in 42 middle schools.
The students were tracked from the beginning of sixth grade through the completion of eighth grade. During that time their schools either implemented the study’s intervention programs or in comparison were given funds for programs of their own choosing.
The findings, scheduled to be published in The New England Journal of Medicine, were presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 70th scientific sessions event in Orlando, Fla.
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