Health

Obese Children Feel Singled Out by Schools

May 13, 2007 02:10 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
In an attempt to curb childhood obesity, many schools have outlawed bake sales, outlawed soda, sweet snacks and in Wyoming, have instituted get fit programs aimed at obese students.

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Nationwide, states like Wyoming, Arkansas and Illinois have introduced healthy lifestyle programs; some include special weight loss after school programs for obese students. Yet, parents and some school officials feel children are being singled out and embarrassed.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 25 million children and adolescents are overweight or are nearly overweight.

A child is considered obese if she or he falls within the 95th percentile or above for body mass index (BMI), which calculates a person's weight compared to height.  

Businesses, including IBM, General Motors and Pfizer, have introduced "wellness incentives" to their employees in which employees are encouraged and rewarded for living a healthy lifestyle.

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According to a study by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Public Health Advocacy Institute, most soda vending machine deals raise an average of $18 per student per year for schools. The study dealt with school systems from 16 states, analyzing 120 contracts with beverage companies. It is the first multi-state analysis of such contracts.

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