Navigation Links
Study suggests junk food in schools doesn't cause weight gain among children
Date:1/17/2012

WASHINGTON, DC, January 17, 2012 While the percentage of obese children in the United States tripled between the early 1970s and the late 2000s, a new study suggests thatat least for middle school studentsweight gain has nothing to do with the candy, soda, chips, and other junk food they can purchase at school.

"We were really surprised by that result and, in fact, we held back from publishing our study for roughly two years because we kept looking for a connection that just wasn't there," said Jennifer Van Hook, a Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study, which appears in the January issue of Sociology of Education.

The study relies on data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999, which follows a nationally representative sample of students from the fall of kindergarten through the spring of eighth grade (the 1998-1999 through 2006-2007 schools years). Van Hook and her coauthor Claire E. Altman, a sociology and demography doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University, used a subsample of 19,450 children who attended school in the same county in both fifth and eighth grades (the 2003-2004 and the 2006-2007 school years).

The authors found that 59.2 percent of fifth graders and 86.3 percent of eighth graders in their study attended schools that sold junk food. But, while there was a significant increase in the percentage of students who attended schools that sold junk food between fifth and eighth grades, there was no rise in the percentage of students who were overweight or obese. In fact, despite the increased availability of junk food, the percentage of students who were overweight or obese actually decreased from fifth grade to eighth grade, from 39.1 percent to 35.4 percent.

"There has been a great deal of focus in the media on how schools make a lot of money from the sale of junk food to students, and on how schools have the ability to help reduce childhood obesity," Van Hook said. "In that light, we expected to find a definitive connection between the sale of junk food in middle schools and weight gain among children between fifth and eighth grades. But, our study suggests thatwhen it comes to weight issueswe need to be looking far beyond schools and, more specifically, junk food sales in schools, to make a difference."

According to Van Hook, policies that aim to reduce childhood obesity and prevent unhealthy weight gain need to concentrate more on the home and family environments as well as the broader environments outside of school.

"Schools only represent a small portion of children's food environment," Van Hook said. "They can get food at home, they can get food in their neighborhoods, and they can go across the street from the school to buy food. Additionally, kids are actually very busy at school. When they're not in class, they have to get from one class to another and they have certain fixed times when they can eat. So, there really isn't a lot of opportunity for children to eat while they're in school, or at least eat endlessly, compared to when they're at home. As a result, whether or not junk food is available to them at school may not have much bearing on how much junk food they eat."

The study results also intimate that when it comes to combating childhood obesity and weight issues, policymakers should put more emphasis on younger children, Van Hook said. "There has been a lot of research showing that many children develop eating habits and tastes for certain types of foods when they are of preschool age, and that those habits and tastes may stay with them for their whole lives," Van Hook said. "So, their middle school environments might not matter a lot."
'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Finding the right way to address a patient’s condition before it ... now getting on board. , “You do the right thing, at the right time, at ... down, not up,” said Leonard M. Fromer, MD, FAAFP, from Group Practice Forum. “Even if ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Dave Newberry, broker/owner of Newberry Realty, recently announced his office ... luncheon on Friday, May 20. “We have raised over $1,000 for the table to ... Newberry. , PICC is a local Kent, WA, clinic that cares for drug-exposed babies ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... It has just been announced Jack Uldrich, ... throughout the month of May. , Uldrich is the author of 11 books and ... frequently appears on the Science Channel’s FutureScape and Discovery Channel’s Inside Out. , Known ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... As directed by its ... Pennsylvania (HAP) issues its full support to allow certified nurse practitioners (CNP) to practice ... they have worked under such supervision for three years and 3,600 hours. , In ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Eating Recovery Center’s Insight Behavioral ... and anxiety disorders, has rebranded its eating disorder program under a new name: Eating ... treatment facility on May 16. , To celebrate, ERC Chicago will host a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... pharmaceutical company focused on the development of oral drug delivery ... upcoming PIONEERS 2016 conference, presented by Joseph Gunnar ... New York . Nadav Kidron , ... conference. Presentation Details:   PIONEERS ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016  Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... results for the fiscal second quarter ended March ... of $0.24 increased 41.2%, and non-GAAP diluted EPS ... increased 5.8% on a reported basis, and 6.3% ... "We posted another good quarter, highlighted by 14.6% ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Transparency Market Research has published ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast ... skincare devices market was valued at US$ 7,255.8 Mn ... CAGR of 10.1% from 2015 to 2023 to reach ... full Skincare Devices Market (Treatment Device - LED Therapy Devices, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: