Childhood obesity has never occupied so high a priority in the minds of concerned health professionals and lawmakers, as of now.//
There are moves to do away with regular school snacks such as colas and chips, which experts believe are contributing to ungainly as well as dangerous pounds on youngsters.
A committee from the Institute of Medicine has been set up by the US Congress to look into the matter.
Says Virginia A. Stallings, head of the committee: "Making sure that all foods and drinks available in schools meet nutrition standards is one more way schools can help children establish lifelong healthy eating habits.
Such foods will include whole grain biscuits, low fat yogurt, fruit and water.
In Ottawa, Canada a child health summit has agreed upon making healthier lifestyles for children a national priority.
The hosts of the summit, the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Pediatric Society and the College of Family Physicians of Canada, aim to make the country one of the top five in the world for healthiest children.
The summit organizers drafted a Child Health Charter and Challenge that calls for children to have a safe and secure environment, good health and development, and a full range of health resources available to all.
According to Canadian official figures, obesity in children has tripled in the last 20 years.
A 25-year-long Canadian Community Health Survey, which looked at obesity in children and adults, has come out with results that call for drastic change in lifestyle choices.
At the beginning of the study, three per cent of children between the ages of two and 17 were considered obese. Among adults, the rate was 14 per cent.
By the end of the study in 2004, those rates soared. Among children, nine per cent were considered obese. Another 20 per cent were considered overweight, meaning that almost 30 per cent of youngsters had weight problems.
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