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Strict laws on junk food may be helping kids stay healthier

Posted on Aug 27, 2012 by Maggie LaBarbera

There has been a lot of discussion about the use of laws to influence or limit obesityfoods that are high in sugar and/or fat.  Discussions range from violation of rights to disease prevention.  

We would all agree that parents should have the ultimate say on how their child eats but the reality is there is a great deal of external sources that influence children.

Kids advertisements on TV, online and at the store is a great deal of influence.  Children don't have the same level of understanding of how ads can manipulate you into wanting to buy their products.  We need some laws to help protect our children.

In school, children are eating one of their main meals a day and a snack.  Millions of children each day buy their lunch and what foods are offered will greatly influence children.  We need laws to help govern the foods that are served to children so that they are nutritious and healthy.

These are just a few examples of how the laws are needed to help protect children and guide them to healthier choices.

Regardless where you stand on this issue, it may be that these laws will help curb the childhood obesity epidemic that our country faces.  A new study just released in the journal Pediatrics indicates that these laws may be effective.

The study looked at states current laws and categorized each state as strong, weak or no competitive food law in 2003 through 2006.

​6300 students from 40 states were assessed having their height and weight data for fifth and eighth grade.

The study found that students who were exposed to strong law as were less likely to be remain overweight or obese over time when compared with states that had no laws

The study also found that kids that were in states with weak competitive food laws has a similar BMI gain to the states with no laws.

The study concluded that laws that regulated competitive food nutrition content may be able to reduce BMI scores if they were consistently exposed to strong laws.

​More resources:

Childhood Obesity Resources 

BMI Kids Calculation Worksheet For Nurses And Dietitians Using the English Apothecary System

Eating Habits

Childhood Obesity And Exercise

Health Risks For Overweight Children

Losing Weight

Rates By State

Resources for Healthcare Providers





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