Nutrition Education a Dud?
Maybe all those school food reforms and trying to teach kids to eat better isn’t such a good idea? Because according to new research, nutrition education programs are failing. Martha Mendoza of the Associated Press reports:
An Associated Press review of scientific studies examining 57 such programs found mostly failure. Just four showed any real success in changing the way kids eat — or any promise as weapons against the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.I don’t know, I still think educating people is a smart move—what about you?
"Any person looking at the published literature about these programs would have to conclude that they are generally not working," said Dr. Tom Baranowski, a pediatrics professor at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine who studies behavioral nutrition.
The results have been disappointing, to say the least:
-Last year a major federal pilot program offering free fruits and vegetables to school children showed fifth graders became less willing to eat them than they had been at the start. Apparently they didn't like the taste.
-In Pennsylvania, researchers went so far as to give prizes to school children who ate fruits and vegetables. That worked while the prizes were offered, but when the researchers came back seven months later the kids had reverted to their original eating habits: soda and chips.
-In studies where children tell researchers they are eating better or exercising more, there is usually no change in blood pressure, body size or cholesterol measures; they want to eat better, they might even think they are, but they're not.
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