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Michelangelo and the Prevention of Childhood Obesity

by Martin Maimon, MD, MPH
May/June 2008
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/michelangelo-and-the-prevention-of-childhood-obesity/5018176/

The role of early childhood educators

Are child care professionals really in a position to help children learn a healthy lifestyle 'frame of mind'? My answer is a resounding "Yes!". Of course, it is challenging and difficult. But, early childhood educators are exactly the people that I would choose to design creative and entertaining ways to help children understand the difference between food that helps them grow and food that appeals to their taste buds. (Of course, these things are not mutually exclusive.) These are the people that I want helping me brainstorm new and exciting ways to keep children physically active.

A recent article in the British Medical Journal (Westley, 2007) described how a European community initiative referred to as EPODE (an acronym for a French program entitled "Together, Let's Prevent Obesity in Children") has shown some progress:

Towns that participated have slowed the increase of childhood obesity, while the rate doubled in the rest of the region.

The number of families who ate french fries once a week went from 56% to 39%.

These results are encouraging. The target group for these efforts is children ages 5 to 12, though, and it's likely that an impact can ...

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