AMA Says Kids Need To Be Educated About Obesity

The physicians' group also gives the nod to a soda tax.

Childhood obesity

The American Medical Assn. advocates education as a way to combat the obesity epidemic. (Photo: Brian G. Green/Getty Images)

Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal and got in a boxing ring.

The group gave its approval on legislation requiring schools teach the causes, effects and prevention of obesity for kids in elementary through high school, the Associated Press reports. The vote came this week at the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago.

More than one-third of children and teens in the U.S. were overweight or obese in 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Studies point to a number of culprits for the rise in weight, including spending copious time in front of computers and television and eating more fatty and sugary foods.

Concern about those sugar-sweetened beverages also led the AMA to support the idea of taxing the drinks as a way to defray the costs of education campaigns and other obesity programs.

In a news release, AMA board member Dr. Alexander Ding said, “Where taxes are implemented on sugar-sweetened beverages, using revenue for anti-obesity programs and educational campaigns explaining the adverse effects of excessive consumption of these beverages will help to reduce the consumption of these caloric beverages and improve public health.”

What do you think are the solutions to childhood obesity?

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