Recommendations from White House task force to combat childhood obesity
The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity calls for:
-- Women to be at a healthy weight at conception and avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy.
-- Breast-feeding to be encouraged: Studies show babies fed this way are 22 percent less likely to become obese.
-- Smaller restaurant portions and posting of calorie information.
-- Schools to serve more fruits in lunches and vending machines.
-- The USDA to add 2 million children to the school lunch program by 2015.
-- A 50 percent increase in high school students attending daily physical-education classes.
-- Recess classes in elementary schools to increase by 95 percent.
-- Updated federal nutrition standards for meals served at schools and more school-based nutrition education. Congress is updating the guidelines. Legislation that cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee would spend an additional $4.5 billion over 10 years on school nutrition programs; the Obama administration has asked for $10 billion more.
-- Pediatricians to check patients' body mass index, a height-weight calculation used to measure body fat.
-- A standard nutrition label on the front of packaged foods.
-- The food industry and beverage industry to limit the marketing of unhealthy products to children, with government regulation as a last resort.
-- Economic incentives to eradicate "food deserts," urban and rural areas with few grocery stores.
-- Insurance plans to cover services necessary to treat and prevent childhood obesity.
-- Using cartoon characters to promote only healthy food.
-- From Post wire services