Watching More TV As A Young Adult Predicts Obesity

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and the University of Pittsburgh, please share your comments below…..

familytvSome people who watch more television than their peers are at increased risk for injuries, new University of Pittsburgh study finds.

The more hours young adults spend watching television each day, the greater the likelihood that they’ll have a higher body mass index and bigger waist circumference, a 15-year analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health revealed.

The association did not hold in later years, indicating that young adulthood is an important time to intervene and promote less television viewing, according to the research published online in the journal SAGE Open.

“We were quite surprised to find that television viewing was associated with subsequent obesity for young adults, but not for the middle-aged,” said lead author Anthony Fabio, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. “This suggests that middle-aged adults may differ from young adults in how they respond to the influence of TV viewing.”

Dr. Fabio and his colleagues analyzed data from 3,269 adults recruited from Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Minneapolis, and Oakland, Calif., who participated in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. For 15 years starting in 1990, the participants reported their television viewing habits and had their waist circumference measured and their body mass index (a measure of weight and height that can indicate obesity) calculated every five years.

The more time participants spent watching television when they were approximately 30 years old, the more likely they were to be obese five years later, compared to their peers who spent less time in front of the television. The team did not have data on younger ages.

Dr. Fabio and his team suspect many potential reasons for the association, including that young adults may be more likely to snack during television viewing and consume unhealthy food due to their greater susceptibility to the seduction of junk food advertising on television. In support of that hypothesis, the CARDIA study also found that participants were more likely to eat healthier foods as they aged.

The analysis found that 23 percent of the men and 20.6 percent of the women participating in the study watched four or more hours of television daily. Within that group of heavy TV watchers, 35.9 percent were black, and 8.6 percent were white; and 40.8 percent had a high school education or less, vs. 17.4 percent with an education beyond high school.

A lower family income and higher rates of smoking and drinking also were associated with more time spent watching television.

“Television viewing and obesity are both highly prevalent in many populations around the world,” said Dr. Fabio. “This means that even small reductions in television viewing could lead to vast public health improvements. Reducing sedentary time should be a healthy lifestyle guideline heavily promoted to the public. Our study indicates that the biggest bang for the buck would be in targeting young adults for interventions to reduce television viewing. Healthy lifestyle behaviors should start at early ages.”

Additional authors on this research are Chung-Yu Chen and Karen Matthews, Ph.D., of Pitt; Stephen Dearwater, M.S., of Jackson Memorial Hospital; David Jacobs, Ph.D., Darin Erickson, Ph.D., and Mark Pereira, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Carlos Iribarren, M.D., Ph.D., and Stephen Sidney, M.D., M.P.H., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

This research was funded by in part by research grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) (R03AG028504) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U49-CE000764). The CARDIA study is supported by contracts HHSN268201300025C, HHSN268201300026C, HHSN268201300027C, HHSN268201300028C, HHSN268201300029C and HHSN268200900041C from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Intramural Research Program of the NIA, and an intra-agency agreement between NIA and NHLBI (AG0005).

About the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, founded in 1948 and now one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, conducts research on public health and medical care that improves the lives of millions of people around the world. Pitt Public Health is a leader in devising new methods to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other important public health problems. For more information about Pitt Public Health, visit the school’s Web site at

Limit The Chances Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes From A Young Age

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By James Helliwell

diabeteswordWe always want what’s best for our kids and we always want to see them happy. Having said that, what makes them happy now might not necessarily be what’s best for them in the long run. Take fast food for example. Sure it might make them happy for the half hour that they’re eating it but you can be damn sure it’s not doing their bodies a whole lot of good in the long run. The same goes with sugary sweets and biscuits. Sure it might taste good for them when they’re eating it but it could be increasing their chances of developing type 2 diabetes when they get older. So what can we do as parents to lower the chances of this happening? I spoke to diabetic strip purchasers DTS buyers about some of the ways parents can stop or severely lower the chances of their children developing the disease and these are some of the reasons they gave me. At the end of the day, it comes down to two things and if you implement these two things regularly at a young age, chances are that your children will carry on these good and healthy habits as they get older.


Now when I say diet, I don’t mean the Atkins diet or anything like that. I simply mean good healthy food choices that give your children all the nutrients they need to live a healthy lifestyle. No one is saying you can’t give them sweets and chocolate every now and again, but a good balanced diet is needed to provide them with a head start in life. Getting them to eat regular fruits and vegetables with an occasional fast food meal as a treat is all part of growing up. By giving them a good diet when they’re young, chances are they will continue trying to eat healthy when they get older thus severely lowering the risk of developing diabetes by living an unhealthy lifestyle.


As with the diet, you want to give you child or children a healthy lifestyle. Having regular exercise is part of a healthy life so getting them involved in sporting activities or even just playing outside with friends is a great way of keeping them active and healthy. This can be quite challenging as sometimes playing the PlayStation might be more tempting! Myself, I was encouraged to play sports I enjoyed as a child and I’ve carried this into my adult life by keeping active and fit by playing rugby and going out on regular runs. Getting them involved in sporting activities when they’re young will stay with them through their life and will go hand in hand with a good diet and an overall healthy lifestyle.

AMA Sports Medicine Confirms Need For Cross-Training Among Young Athletes

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By Warren Potash

boyssportsYouth sports participation over the past 20+ years has resulted in more sports injuries than ever before – not due to more female athletes playing sports. Obviously, this has caused the American Medical Association [AMA] take a hard look at what can be done to reverse this trend. The AMA issued a Position Paper in November 2013 that broadly reflects their concerns. This is a few of the points made:

* Sport specialization may be considered as intensive, year-round training in a single sport at the exclusion of other sports.

* There is concern that early sport specialization may increase rates of overuse injury and sport burnout…

* Diversified sports training during early and middle adolescence may be more effective in developing elite-level skills in the primary sport due to skill transfer.

Reference found here…..

These points are very important issues. What’s interesting is that I wrote They’re Not Boys – Safely Training the Adolescent Female Athlete [2012] to provide quality information about the too high injury rate in female sports participation. The AMA’s Sports Medicine division almost two (2) years later came to identical recommendations. So, what can adults who are volunteer coaches learn from this valuable information?

Cross training, using the body in different ways, during early ages is best accomplished by having youngsters play more than one sport. I discourage real training to play sports at early ages and encourage youngsters to have FUN and performing movement patterns that lead to rhythm and coordination. Therefore, the one sport athlete should not be encouraged despite what is happening in youth sports today.

Even though burnout and overuse injuries do not have evidence-based research to prove out the recommendation about early sport specialization, it stands to reason that if the same muscle groups are used the same way over time – the possibility of injuries and burnout are greater; it’s common sense.

teensElite-level skill development is just that. How many elite-level athletes are there who can demand the type of attention from college coaches? Not many!! About 4 million youngsters are in a pool from their youth sport days and less than one percent (1%) obtains the offers. So, for the vast majority 99%+, it’s far better to train to play sports after trying different sports. This allows each athlete the opportunity to decide in early adolescence whether they want to specialize in just one sport; i.e., the one (or two) sports they most enjoy.

Let’s be clear about the carrot and stick approach in youth sports today. Volunteer coaches tell athletes and parents that if you play with my team, you will gain more exposure from college coaches leading to a scholarship offer. While this has truth to the statement, the facts are that very few female athletes receive scholarships just based on their athletic ability.

Did you know that an athlete who has very good to excellent grades will get money from a D III school than an athlete without top grades? How can that be? D III doesn’t offer scholarships. Coaches are seeking “coachable” athletes and those who excel in time management for academics and sports, etc. The admissions departments often work with coaches to provide scholarship dollars to help these athletes matriculate at their schools.

Youth sports and adolescent sport participation is really life skills training that an individual realizes many years after their sport participation days are completed. Learning responsibility for their own actions and in team sports understanding how a group of athletes needs to work together for the common good helps young women mature into adulthood.

The emphasis needs to be on movement, fitness, sport, and life skills training. A leading trainer of professional, elite athletes puts it this way: “Based on the statistics, we have failed in our physical education and physical fitness programs for youth.” (SkillFit – A Blueprint for Building Physical Skills, Youth Edition. Kent Johnston; 2013)

Make certain you understand why your child(ren) is playing sports and make sure that sport participation provides opportunities for FUN and fitness first – not winning from an early age that can be detrimental to long term success. Youngsters need a program where they have FUN, develop movement patterns and sport skills that are safe and age-appropriate so they are minimizing their risk for injury and becoming the best student-athlete each can be.

Warren J. Potash, Specialist in Exercise Therapy and Sports Nutrition and Sports Performance Coach Author: They’re Not Boys – Safely Training the Adolescent Female Athlete (2012) and co-author Your Lower Back (1993)

Young Women Suffering Old Women’s Diseases

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

girlhatMany young women today are facing the health challenges of older women. They include:

• Coronary heart disease

• Diabetes

• Osteoporosis

• High cholesterol

• High blood pressure

• Arthritis

• Certain types of cancer, like colon cancer

But why? Because it all boils down to a lack of healthy eating, a lack of exercise, and too much time sitting. You may find you have obstacles to healthy eating and living like:

• A busy lifestyle

• The ready availability of high-calorie convenience foods

• Super-sized portions

• Too little time for physical activity

• Competing information on diet, nutrition, lifestyle and healthy eating

And yet, all of this is easy to manage and handle when you have some basic information to guide you and to keep yourself motivated. 90% of all heart disease related illnesses can be prevented through proper diet and exercise. You can avoid the top list by following these two tips:

#1) Make the SWITCH.

SWITCH OUT: Saturated fats like butter, cheese and whole milk FOR: Nuts, avocados and non-fat milk, “The Good Fats”.

SWITCH OUT: White pasta and white rice FOR: whole wheat and whole grain pasta or brown rice pasta or brown rice.

SWITCH OUT: Sugary breakfast cereals FOR: whole grain, plain cereals that you sweeten with fruit and berries.

SWTCH OUT: Sugary sodas, candy and cookies FOR: plain water, club soda, fruit and vegetable snacks accompanied by a tablespoon of freshly-ground peanut butter.

SWTCH OUT: Fast food smoothies (which contain 32 cubes of sugar) FOR homemade blended fruit drinks made with ice and non-fat milk.

SWTCH OUT: Premade pasta sauces (usually high in sugar and sodium) FOR: low-fat, low-salt versions or homemade sauces you make with fresh tomatoes and herbs.

SWTCH OUT: Sodium and sugar-rich barbeque sauces FOR: homemade versions where you control the sugar and salt.

SWTCH OUT: Canned soup (high in salt) FOR: homemade soup with plenty of beans and veggies.

SWTCH OUT: Canned vegetables (usually high in sugar and salt) FOR: fresh or frozen vegetables

SWTCH OUT: Fast foods like pizza, hamburgers, and fried chicken FOR: whole grain pizza you make yourself with veggies and cheese substitute, turkey or veggie burgers without the cheese and pickles, roasted chicken you make at home or use a Panko coating for a crispy taste.

womanweights#2) Exercise. It doesn’t’ matter what you do – brisk walking is just fine! But you have to DO something to offset the sedentary lifestyle we have at our desks, computers, and television sets that keep us inactive, not refreshing our bodies, not stimulating oxygen flow and stagnating our muscles and organs by immobility . The body was designed to be in motion. When we sit for hours at a time, we stagnate the life process.

If you still think you can’t fit exercise into your life then please, if nothing else, employ these activities:

• Adopt a dog and take it for walks every day.

• Do things the old-fashioned way — get up and change the television channel; open the garage door manually; use a push lawnmower, garden.

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

• Walk briskly whenever you can – and do it for at least a 20 minutes.

• Minimize use of your car; walk to destinations within a mile.

• Use a bicycle to do errands and local transport. (Wear a helmet!)

• Take up tennis or any other game or sport you enjoy.

• Join a sports team, play regularly and enjoy the benefits team play can bring you.

Here are some free sites to help you work out. Set aside 15-30 minutes day for your body toning and stamina- building workout.,,20306919_1,00.html

and my favorite:

Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy™ is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding. While earning her PhD in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.

How Martial Arts Benefits Young Children

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By Master Joseph Ash

martialartssilhouetteMartial Arts is an ideal life-skills activity to involve your child. Specifically, between the ages of 4 and 7 years of age are wonderful times to get them enrolled. These are some critical growth times both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, there are very few high quality activities, like Martial Arts, that can facilitate programs for such ages and do so while positively impacting their development.

I will share four brief insights as to how Martial Arts benefit young children.

1. Physical Excitement and Individual Rewards
Physical Excitement is a term I use around my students because fitness is so overplayed and undervalued. Using Physical Excitement makes it fun for children and gets them more excited about being physically active. Combine that with a properly taught martial arts program and you get an excellent way to learn about your body while moving. Not only are the movements dynamic and combination of skills endless, but the rewards are based upon individual effort. This is a win-win combination because it keeps children interested and engages them for longer periods of time. Ultimately, it creates a better chance for the exercise to become more of a positive habit… and a good one at that.

2. Academic Participation and Performance
Children that are actively engaged in a martial arts program demonstrate more mental alertness than those who do not. Also the students are able to stay focused on tasks longer, resulting in completed projects and assignments. The patience their training develops helps with studying, therefore producing better grades. Because of their participation and dedication in training, martial arts students are more likely to participate in classroom activities. Students also display far less anti-social behaviors like bullying.

kidsjumping3. Character Development
The character lessons martial arts students learn provides them with valuable references for challenges they will inevitably face later in life. Through controlled experiences, students are able to be guided and mentored in best practices self control as they move from level to level. The student understands more about themselves and their potential because of their exposure to real life experiences. Also, because of their training they are more respectful to their teachers, parents, peers and themselves.

4. Leadership and Purpose
Role modeling in a martial arts program provides great opportunities for children to develop leadership skills. Such a skills carry with it a purpose and is extremely valuable in terms of day to day activities like being a big sister or brother, a Boy or Girl Scout, a class president and later in life, a boss or father. Truly professional martial arts programs are heavily involved within their community and such participation involves students. This is a wonderful avenue to teach students about growth through contribution as well as community pride.

In the end, children truly love Martial Arts, the growth and self measurement. The guidelines by which the individual is challenged and rewarded goes a long way in the eyes of a child. Through such systems, children learn to believe in themselves and others thus producing a wonderful balance of self and the world.

– Master Joseph Ash, Owner, BAEPLEX Family Martial Arts Center, Inc., Author: Martial Arts Unlocked

Type 1 Diabetes Rate Among Young Children Grew 70 Percent Over 2 Decades

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diabeticFrom Your Health Journal…..”So much as been in the news regarding the rise of obesity in children, and how so many children have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, formally known as adult onset diabetes – since it was visible mostly in adults. There is a strong correlation between type 2 diabetes and obesity. Ninety-five percent of diagnosed diabetes is usually type 2. Today, I found a great story from On Central, a Southern California Public Radio station. The article was written by José Martinez entitled, Type 1 Diabetes Rate Among Young Children Grew 70 Percent Over 2 Decades. Type 1 diabetes is what happens when little to no insulin is produced, as the pancreas stops creating it. Insulin is what is needed to deliver glucose (energy) through the cells of the body. Experts still aren’t sure what causes it, although it’s most often diagnosed in children, teenagers or young adults – it used to be called juvenile diabetes. But now, research is suggesting that type 1 diabetes is on the rise among children. So, it will be interesting to see further research into this matter. Please visit the On Central web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Local health care providers say type 2 diabetes is way more prevalent than the type 1 variety in South Los Angeles – that’s true for both adults and children.

In fact, that seems to be true across the board: Up to 95 percent of all diagnosed diabetes cases are type 2.

Obesity is the primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes, which can develop when the body becomes resistant to insulin. Genetics also play a role in a person’s development of the disease.

Type 1, on the other hand, is what happens when little to no insulin is produced. Experts still aren’t sure what causes it, although it’s most often diagnosed in children, teenagers or young adults.

With child obesity on the rise, doctors knew that rising rates of type 2 diabetes among youngsters would be close behind. That problem is especially acute in South L.A., where the rates of child obesity are among the county’s highest. The trend is so worrisome that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently released the first official guidelines – ever – regarding how to treat the disease in children.

But now researchers on the East Coast are seeing a similar pattern with type 1 diabetes among children: A new study appearing in Diabetes Care found that incidence of the disease in very young children from Philadephia – those under the age of five – increased by a whopping 70 percent between 1985 and 2004.

To read the complete article…..Click here

How Young Is Too Young To Diet?

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scaleFrom Your Health Journal…..”An excellent article from ABC News in Denver via the Tampa Bay Times called How Young Is Too Young To Diet? More than one-third of US children now are overweight or obese. The childhood-obesity rate more than tripled in 30 years. The White House (with the support of Mrs. Obama) has declared the epidemic a national priority. Worldwide, childhood obesity is quickly becoming an epidemic, as many experts are worried this could be the first generation of children to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Children are also showing risk factors for heart disease, with signs of high cholesterol and blood pressure – and many children have type 2 diabetes. Today’s article review discusses dieting for children. Many times, I do have a problem with parents putting their child on a diet, unless they get approved by a nutritionist, dietician, or pediatrician. Child and dieting is not necessary unless approved by professional, and should never really be done based on parental decisions. Many parents are not educated on doing it the correct way, and in many cases, neglect certain food groups needed for normal growth and development for children. Please visit the ABC web site to view (link provided below) the complete article.”

From the article…..

A couple of years ago, Dara-Lynn Weiss set out to do something that health experts have urged millions of American moms and dads to do: help her obese child lose weight.

At nearly 4 feet 5 and 93 pounds, then-7-year-old Bea would hardly rate a second glance from Jerry Springer. But her pediatrician declared she was in the 98th percentile for weight related to height, placing her within the definition of pediatric obesity.

On a physician-approved diet closely (and I mean closely) monitored by Mom, Bea peeled off 16 pounds and grew more than an inch over the course of a year, landing her at a healthy weight. Weiss — with her daughter’s approval — reported their experience last year in Vogue magazine, accompanied by glamorous photos.

Whatever applause there might have been, however, was drowned out by fury. Columnists and bloggers around the world accused Weiss of numerous offenses, such as being “the worst mother in the world.”

They thought the diet was too strict for such a young child. They criticized Weiss for “publicly shaming” Bea by sometimes declining rich desserts. They predicted Bea would develop eating disorders and hate her mother.

Even the doctor who provided the family with Bea’s diet got into the brawl, complaining the child didn’t stick with the weekly weigh-ins at her office.

Now Weiss has dusted herself off and turned the experience into a book, “The Heavy — A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.” It stands out from the pack in the annual onslaught of diet-related books.

More than a third of American children now are considered overweight or obese. The childhood-obesity rate more than tripled in 30 years. The White House has declared the epidemic a national priority. “The Biggest Loser” is putting obese kids on prime-time TV, though apparently with far more sensitivity than the grown-ups get.

But what I hadn’t heard until now is a detailed account of a parent watching a beloved child become obese, despite careful guidance, healthy foods and opportunities to be active.

I would not have expected to sympathize with a woman who would take a half-finished hot chocolate away from her child when she found out that it had far more calories than the store advertised.

To read the full article…..Click here

Swimming, Sitting Up Helps Young Children Learn

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From Your Health Journal…..”For my regular readers, you know I always say visit the Education Week web site, as they have some of the best articles on the net. Today’s article being reviewed discusses how babies who sit up and per-schoolers who swim have a distinct advantage developmentally over their counterparts who do not. This blog has discussed many times how physical activity enhances cognitive skills as well as physical skills, so a study like this does not surprise many of us. There are many reasons why a child should exercise! We know it helps fight sickness, fights disease, reduces the risk of heart disease or diabetes, improves self esteem, and helps us carry out daily tasks with greater ease. So, when you read an article like this, it just adds to the list of why exercise is important not only for children, but adults. Please visit the Education Week web site (listed below) to view the full article.”

From the article…..

Babies who can sit up (either on their own or with assistance) and preschoolers who participate in swimming have developmental advantages over those who can’t, according to two separate studies.

My colleague Julie Rasicot recently covered both studies in detail over on our Early Years blog, but I’ll give you a quick rundown here.

In one study, researchers at North Dakota State and Texas A&M universities found that babies who can sit up on their own have an advantage over those who can’t, as they’re free to use their hands to explore objects around them. The study found that 6½-month-old babies, when given the chance to play with objects beforehand, can be “primed to attend pattern differences” between the objects.

Even babies as young as 5½ months can use pattern differences to distinguish between objects when they’re given “full postural support,” according to the study. The 5½-month-old babies struggled to support themselves sitting up on their own, however.

“If babies don’t have to focus on balancing, their attention can be on exploring the object,” said study co-author Rebecca Woods, an assistant professor of human development and family science at North Dakota State University, in a statement.

Meanwhile, researchers from Australia’s Griffith University found that preschool-aged children (younger than 5) who participate in swimming reach a range of developmental milestones quicker than children who stay away from the water.

To read the full article…..Click here

Expanding Young Students’ Role In Nutrition

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From Your Health Journal…..”What a great story about LA schools making a change to eat healthy. Students are growing healthy fruits and vegetables in their school garden, then serving it with their lunch. Soda, flavored milk, and sweetened juices are being cut back, and many kids seem to enjoy the healthy change. The school district even went as far as serving healthy breakfast to students so no kid starts the day hungry. As mentioned in this blog many times, health habits start at a young age, so these students are not only being educated in math or science, but also nutrition – which will hopefully last a lifetime. As childhood obesity numbers soar, it is refreshing to read about a success story like this! I strongly recommend reading this awesome story.”

From the article…..

At Mark Twain Middle School in Los Angeles, a blooming garden serves as a classroom. Students learn math by measuring the growth of wheat, ancient history by building a Mesopotamian-style irrigation system and the science of evaporation, evolution and genetics by watching their garden grow.

At lunchtime, they may be found snacking on pasta tossed in a sauce featuring just-picked tomatoes and basil.

Aiming to expand such links between classroom and cafeteria, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted this week to further strengthen what is regarded as one of the leading school nutrition programs in the nation. In a resolution passed without opposition, board members directed the district to create a plan to incorporate nutrition education into the curriculum, give students more say in school meal planning and allow them at least 20 minutes to actually eat. Some students say they end up with as little as five minutes for meals because of long cafeteria lines.

The resolution also directs Supt. John Deasy to report on the financial impact of unauthorized food sales on campus, which include chips, cookies and other junk food that compete with the district’s meals. Despite districtwide policies promoting healthful food, many individual campuses sell such perennial favorites as baked Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in school stores and vending machines to raise money.

Board member Steve Zimmer, who co-sponsored the resolution with President Monica Garcia, said the district needed to continue pushing forward on the issue, noting that healthful eating is linked to academic achievement and that some students rely on school meals for most of their daily nutrition.

“We have a sacred obligation to make sure we do everything in our power to raise the quality of our nutritional content,” Zimmer said.

The resolution is the latest effort to put L.A. Unified in the forefront of a national movement to make school meals more nutritious and reduce childhood obesity and other health problems.

Over the past several years, L.A. Unified has banned sodas and flavored milk on campus, introduced classroom breakfasts to ensure no child starts the day hungry and transformed its menus. Many items high in fat, salt and sugar have been removed — including such popular fare as corn dogs and coffee cake — in favor of more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

To read the full article…..Click here