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June 2013

School Meals: A Starting Point for Countering Childhood Obesity

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University, New York.

JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(6):584-585. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.404

On December 11, 2012, the New York Times devoted its front-page, right-hand column—the most important news of the day—to a welcome surprise: several cities were reporting declines in the prevalence of childhood obesity.1 Although the declines were small, 5% or less, they were hopeful signs of a possible reverse in the sharp increase in childhood obesity observed since the early 1980s. And although the cause of the reversals could not be definitively established, the cities reporting them were the ones that had made “strong, far-reaching changes—those that make healthy foods available in schools and communities and integrate physical activity into people's daily lives.”2