Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

Sep12

Chase Campaign: Feeding and Educating Our Youth

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By Devon Ericksen 

This month, The Worldwatch Institute celebrates the role of youth in the creation of a just and sustainable future. Nourishing the Planet knows that we must not only teach our children about proper nutrition to ensure that they live healthy lives, but also to care about the future of sustainable agriculture. Around the world, children face problems ranging from malnutrition and lack of access to education in developing countries, to obesity and poor school lunches in developed countries.

The future of the world’s food system depends on what we teach and feed our children today (Photo Credit: Food Network)

Though the problems may differ, the solution remains the same: develop local agriculture systems with which to sustainably produce nutritious food for our children. In August, we highlighted ways that people are working to bring agriculture closer to home in our post, “From a Garden in South Africa to a Cafeteria in California: Sharing Meals and Good Ideas”. By making fresh produce more accessible, whether it is delivered from a local farm or grown in the schoolyard, organizations such as Abalimi Bezekhaya in South Africa, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers in California, and the Washington D.C. Farm to School Network are all working to feed our youth healthier food, whether they live in situations of poverty or wealth, whether they are obese or malnourished.

Just in time for school to start, we provided ideas and examples for improving school lunches in our post 15 Innovations to Make School Lunches Healthier and More Sustainable. These changes are badly needed at a time when one-third of American children are overweight or obese—a recent study found that children who eat school lunches are much more likely to be obese than children who bring lunch from home. From school gardens to healthy vending machines, change is happening across the country as people realize the importance of feeding our children healthier food.

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Aug21

The Hunger Shames: Schools Can Set Children on Lifetime Path of Healthy Eating

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Check out our latest op-ed about school meals and student health, published in The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Indiana gets a bad grade for childhood obesity and malnutrition. In 2011, 15 percent of Indiana high school students were considered obese, meaning their body mass index was at or above the 95th percentile. Fortunately, schools can play a key role to reverse this trend and reinforce healthy eating behaviors. By emphasizing hands-on nutrition education, such as school garden projects and classroom cooking demonstrations, and by providing fresh, local fruits and vegetables in cafeterias, schools can encourage students to improve their diets.

Read the full article here.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE.

Aug21

Five food guides that are combating malnourishment

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By Jenna Banning

If you are what you eat, our world is certainly unhealthy. People across the globe are not getting the nutrients that they need, resulting in high levels of both hunger and obesity. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 925 million people were undernourished in 2010. At the same time, the World Health Organization estimates that over 1 billion people are overweight, and at least 300 million obese. (Such estimates are based on Body Mass Index measurements, which compare one’s height and weight. Individuals with BMI’s over 25 are considered overweight, and over 30 are obese).

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can prevent obesity and malnutrition (Photo Credit: Carol Lee)

In order to tackle this issue, food pyramids and other guides have been used by organizations and governments to suggest better nutrition for the needs of their populations for many years. Today, Nourishing the Planet shares visual food guides from five countries (and one organization) being used across the world.

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Aug15

New Evidence Shows That School Food Policy Matters When It Comes to Kids’ Health

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By Ioulia Fenton

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the 2011 F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens Americas’ Future report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Trust for America’s Health, nearly one-third of all American kids ages 10 to 17 are either obese or overweight. This puts them at risk of more than 20 major diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Typical competitive foods available in schools include highly processed snacks and drinks (Photo Credit: Health.com)

One proposed way of dealing with this phenomenon is through state and national level legislation to regulate the type of foods available at schools. This is done in two ways. The first is to set nutritional standards for school meals provided free of charge or at reduced prices by the government. The other is to also set standards for and limit the availability of competitive foods—foods sold outside of federal meal programs, such as snacks and soft drinks.

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Aug13

Making School Food Healthier in Buffalo, NY

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The Buffalo News has published an op-ed co-written by Nourishing the Planet director Danielle Nierenberg and communications associate Sophie Wenzlau.

The article focuses on innovative school lunch and nutrition programs in Buffalo, New York. Childhood obesity rates in the county are higher than average—15-20 percent of children aged 2 to 4 are obese, compared to a statewide rate of 10-15 percent—but a growing commitment to fresh, nutritious, and local foods, as part of the national Farm to School movement, is making kids healthier. As childhood obesity and malnutrition affect more and more of our nation’s children, communities and schools play an increasingly important role in setting healthy eating habits and lifestyles.

Click here to read the full article.

Jul19

Can Trade Policy Really Impact Public Health? An Obesity Case Study from Mexico

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By Ioulia Fenton

Many businesses, media, and policymakers often attribute obesity to poor individual consumption decisions. But a new report by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) points to another potential culprit: trade liberalization.

IATP argues that trade liberalization has contributed to high obesity rates in Mexico. (Photo credit: Ilhuicamina, Flickr.com)

Trade liberalization is the removal of government policies that control foreign trade. These include direct policy tools, such as taxes on imports and exports and set quotas for imports of certain products. They also include indirect tools that distort trade, including domestic subsidies and high quality standards.

The IATP study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, investigated the links between the health of the Mexican population and the country’s trade with the United States. Mexico is fast becoming the fattest nation on earth—its rates of obesity and overweight have tripled since the 1980s and now stand at almost 70 percent, according to an analysis of the latest Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey by Dr. Simón Barquera and his team of Mexican researchers.

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Jun26

Children’s Health: Aviva Must Advocates Shared Responsibility

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