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Obesity in Alabama children slowed, but still on the rise

July 21, 2013
by Kym Klass
Montgomery Advertiser

Slowly, Alabama children are becoming fatter.

Numbers from 1999 to the present show an almost 5 percent increase in obese teenagers — 12.2 percent to 17 percent for high school students. There has been a similar percentage increase from 2005 through 2011 in children ages 10 to 17.

The implementation of a wellness policy for Alabama schools eight years ago by the State Department of Education, dictating nutritional criteria for snacks sold in vending machines on school campuses, may have slowed the increase in obesity compared to other states, but it hasn’t improved childhood obesity rates.

Although Alabama has fallen from being one of the most obese states in the country to the 14th most obese in 2010, that is only because other states’ obesity rates are rising even faster than Alabama’s.

School programs only partial answer

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