There has been a  large increase in the amount of children who
are obese in the USA in last three decades. According to Cunningham (2014), the
percentage of overweight children increased from 4.2% to 15.3% in 1963 and 2000
respectively. Obesity is a disease in medicine which we can measure as overabundance1  weight of the body. It is believed
that the main causes of this illness are caloric imbalance and lack of physical
activities (Dehghan, 2005).
Robinson (2001) states another possible reason is television viewing.  Exacerbation of being  overweight in childhood can lead to the more
serious illnesses in the adulthood like hyperinsulinemia, poor glucose tolerance and diabetes (Lobstein, 2004). Consequently, the aim of this paper is to evaluate
the following ways to prevent this disease at school: lunch programs and
programs of physical activities.


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The first possible
solution for schools to prevent childhood obesity in the USA is  healthy diet based on the balance of calories.
The school lunch programs has the potential to have a great influence on
children’s and young adult’s diets because they eat a considerable part from
their total food intake per day (Gleason and Suitor, 2001). The SNDA-III
study (Gordon and Fox, 2007 cited in Story, Nanney and Schwartz, 2009)
presented that in spite of the fact that U.S. schools mostly provide school
meals that meet the standards for key nutrients, such as protein, calcium,  vitamins A and C, and iron, only
approximately one-third of them meet the USDA standards for total fat.
Minimizing  fats following the
recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for the United States can lead to a
reduction of excess calories. The minimum number of calories in food for
students of elementary schools should be 664, and for students in the secondary
school should be 825 (Gordon, 2007 cited in Story, Nanney and Schwartz, 2009).


Another solution to
prevent childhood obesity is program of physical activities. Physical activity
can be described as caused by the contraction of skeletal muscles, any movement
of the body that consumes body energy above the basal level (Bauer, 2011).  In the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for
Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supposes that
?hildren should spend at least 60 minutes a day to exercise.  Main part of this exercises should be filled
by moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (Bauer, 2011).
First of all, these two solutions will be compared by efficiency.


According to Brown and
Summerbell 3 a number of studies conducted to
prevent obesity is rising. From 1990 to 2005, 23 studies were carried out.
During the year from 2006 to 2007, another 15 studies were identified. The
amount of studies conducted in secondary schools is growing. For example, in
the first studies, only 6 out of 23 schools were secondary schools. However, in
the experiments were participated 15 schools, 7 of them were secondary schools.
An approximate one-third of the studies based solely on diet, one-fifth of the
study based on physical activity and 9 of 20 studies combined healthy food and
physical activity. In 2004, the Institute of Medical Sciences and Social
Protection at the University, on behalf of the National Institute for Health
and Clinical Excellence (NICE), conducted a series of surveys on the prevention
of obesity. According to these experiments, the results showed that a combined
option in the form of healthy food and exercise can help to prevent obesity in
the long term and showed significant changes between control and intervention
BMI. Whereas separately the school diet and physical training programs give
only a short-term effect.


The next criteria for
evaluation is feasibility. For example, we will take the results of a two-year
study – Teens Eating for Energy and Nutrition at School (TEENS)  that was conducted in 16 schools of Twin
City, Minnesota and metropolitan area from 1997 to 2000. The aim of the study
was to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables and reduce the number of
foods containing large amounts of fat in school meals. Although there were some
successes in the intermediate time; however at the end of time no noticeable
changes were detected.  As positive
sides, we can note the effect on the choice of food. Thus, assuming the favor
of children to a less caloric meal than to more high-calorie foods. Despite
this indicators the quantity of food consumed was not affected by this


According to certain data
in the school curriculum of primary classes of American schools, approximately
100 minutes per week are devoted to exercises of physical education (PE).
However, it is believed that the amount of moderate and vigorous physical
activity (MVPA) received during these education does not meet the recommended
standards. The results of Go For Health (GFH) study show that the time spent on
MVPA can be increased from less than 10% to more than 40% of the total class
time. By the end of the experiment, an ordinary student in schools where there
was an intervention spent approximately 16 minutes on the total time of PE on
MVPA, or in other words, 80 minutes for a week. The noted should be the fact
that during this intervention, which lasted for two years, one worker almost
completely engaged in teaching PE teachers. This study is a confirmation of the
feasibility of introducing physical learning into the school curriculum (Bruce,


In conclusion, the aim of
this essay was to evaluate the school lunch program and physical education by
effectiveness and feasibility to prevent childhood obesity in the USA by
schools. While both solutions are quite feasible separately, if we talk about
effectiveness, then a long and good effect can only be provided by joint
implementation in schools. Therefore, perhaps the best way to prevent childhood
obesity in American schools is to introduce a healthy diet and physical
exercises to a school schedule.