Child obesity rates are skyrocketing globally. Young children spend the lion’s share of their time in school, consuming a large portion of their daily calories there and developing lifelong eating habits and food preferences with their peers.
Do the schools attended by children influence their weight? As a child development researcher interested in child education, health and poverty, I recently had the unique opportunity to work with epidemiologist Tracie Barnett to examine this question.
We also found children between the ages of 10 and 12 who attended schools with lower-quality food environments had higher amounts of central body fat (or “central adiposity” in technical terms) after two years than children attending healthier schools.
In this sample, we studied the proximity and quality of food that students can easily access at school.
We identified three different school types: 1) those with unhealthy food environments inside the school; 2) those with unhealthy food environments inside and surrounding the school; and 3) those with healthy food environments inside and surrounding the schools.
We assessed the healthfulness of the food environment inside a school using interviews with the school principal, who answered questions about the food sold on the premises and the quality of the school menu.
We measured the food environment surrounding a school by the geographical density of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores within walking distance.
https://en.shafaqna.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/download-7.jpg194260Yahyahttp://en.shafaqna.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/new-logo-s-2.pngYahya2017-12-20 20:26:302017-12-20 20:26:30Is your child’s school an obesity risk?