The effects of overweight and obesity in the United States has brought issues related to health and nutrition to the forefront of public health policy. High rates among children are of particular concern. Research connects childhood overweight and obesity with increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (Freedman et al. 2007; Hanon et al. 2005). Furthermore, childhood obesity increases the likelihood of adult obesity (Biiero & Wien 2010) and related health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers (NIH 1998). Despite a slight decline in recent years, nearly a third of children and adolescents in the United States are still considered overweight or obese (Ogden et al. 2012).
Minorities and children of low socioeconomic status comprise a disproportionate number of the overweight and obese in the United States. Low-income populations often struggle with limited financial resources, lack of access to healthy foods, fewer opportunities for physical activity, high-levels of stress, and limited access to health care, making them vulnerable to being overweight or obese (CITATION). Minority populations face similar barriers to healthy diets, as well as difficulty accessing or understanding nutritional information and adapting to culturally different foods. The correlation of poverty and race with diet related health issues illuminates the role of social and environmental factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Policymakers once focused on changing individual consumption and education increasingly recognize that environmental and social barriers to eating healthy must be part of the strategy to overcome obesity.
The obesity epidemic in the United States has gathered increased national attention, with policymakers, health professionals, and invested organizations engaged in ____. Healthy People 2020, a set of objectives from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, specifically targets a 1.6% reduction in child and adolescent obesity. Efforts to meet these goals are diverse. First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Lets Move! in 2010 with the specific goal of “solv[ing] the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation” (Learn the Facts). Nonprofits like HealthCorps and FoodCorps are promoting health through education and peer mentoring programs. Various local governments are experimenting with improving food environments through revamped corner stores, stocked with fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks. However, the most promising movement is inside school cafeterias.
Over the last ten years, policy to revamp school nutrition has ____. Farm to School (F2S) programs connect K-12 schools and local farms with the objectives of improving food in school cafeterias, supporting small and medium sized local and regional farmers, and providing health and education opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. Programs are unique to each state, district, and...