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Articles November 2018 Issue

The Impact of School Food Policies

A Tufts-led study shows school food policies could impact children’s long-term health.

Childhood obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled since the 1970s. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 school-age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States is classified as obese. What’s more, studies show that most children and adolescents don’t meet dietary recommendations, and metabolic problems like diabetes and high blood pressure are showing up earlier than ever before. “Eating healthier from a younger age can help prevent the onset of diet-related disease,” says Renata Micha, PhD, a research associate professor at Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy who researches the impact of school food policies. “Most of our eating habits are developed early in life. The sooner you start eating healthier, the greater the health benefits you will accrue over time.”

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