According to MedPage Today, School-age kids' body mass index (BMI) z-scores fell following the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), researchers reported.
Compared with the decade prior to the HHFKA being put into place, there was a significant decrease in annual BMI z-scores among U.S. youth from the ages of 5 to 18 (-0.041, 95% CI -0.066 to -0.016) in the 3.5 years after the law passed, according to Aruna Chandran, MD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues.
"School meals and snacks represent a key opportunity for interventions to combat the childhood obesity epidemic given the high rates of participation in school meal programs and the significant proportion of caloric intake that youths receive at school," wrote Chandran's group, noting that more than 20% of U.S. youth have obesity (opens in a new tab or window).
This study really "underscores the important impact of the [National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast] on reducing excess weight gain among lower-income children, who are unquestionably among the most vulnerable for food insecurity, obesity, and obesity-related chronic diseases," added an accompanying editorial (opens in a new tab or window) by Lauren Fiechtner, MD, MPH, of Mass General Hospital for Children in Boston, and colleagues.
Click here to read the entire MEDPAGE TODAY article.