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ADA Takes a Stand on Interventions for Childhood Obesity

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has issued a new Position Paper to help parents, educators and other health professionals stem the tide of childhood obesity on a grass-roots level. Titled “Position of the ADA: Individual-, Family, School-, and Community-Based Interventions for Pediatric Overweight,” the paper is the first to draw conclusions from an extensive, evidence-based review of the literature using a new analytic approach developed by the ADA.

While based on the latest research, the paper is also chock-full of practical strategies for getting involved in local efforts to help kids stay lean. Here is an excerpt from the Position Statement, which appeared in the June 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:

“The American Dietetic Association (ADA), recognizing that overweight is
a significant problem for children and adolescents in the United States, takes
the position that pediatric overweight intervention requires a combination of family-based and school-based multi-
component programs that include the promotion of physical activity, parent training/modeling, behavioral counseling and nutrition education. . . . ADA supports the commitment of resources for programs, policy development, and research for the efficacious promotion
of healthful eating habits and increased physical activity in all children and adolescents, regardless of weight status.”

The paper details specific, feasible actions that parents, teachers and health professionals can employ on a local level. For a blueprint on how fitness professionals can contribute to a similar grass-roots effort by developing physical activity programs in local schools, see the March 2007 issue of this magazine.

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