Mississippi Steps Up Fight Against Childhood Obesity

Despite leading the nation in diabetes, Mississippi isn’t taking lightly the battle to end childhood obesity.

According to a new report from AJMC, over 40% of kids in school in the state of Mississippi are now overweight.

But if officials in the state have their way, that may soon change.

“Thanks to a grant from the National Governors Association under the Healthy Kids, Healthy America Program, Mississippi conducted an extensive study and developed an action plan of implementable policies to curb the rate of obesity and diabetes in our children,” the report explains. “The program, Preventing Obesity with Every Resource (POWER), resulted in then-Governor Haley Barbour appointing a task force of 9 organizations and departments to guide these projects.”

“Thanks to the Child Nutrition and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Reauthorization Act of 2004,5 each school was required to establish a Local School Wellness Policy.This led to adoption of stricter guidelines for what can be sold in school vending machines, adoption of improved nutrition standards, and new requirements for physical education and activities.”

“The Committee to Move Grant provided 25 grants totaling $9400 to 21 schools to purchase physical education equipment and resources.6 The Center for Mississippi Health Policy conducted an evaluation of these grant awards over 5 time periods from Spring 2008 to Spring 2010 to further study the relationship between fitness and academic performance,” the report concludes. “The Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports later gave recognitions of excellence to more than 260 schools.”

To review the complete report, click here.

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