by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Three North Carolina-based researchers have found “no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence in any age group, despite substantial clinical and policy efforts targeting the issue.”
Asheley Cockrell Skinner, Eliana Perrin, and Joseph Skelton’s study, “Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in US Children, 1999-2014,” has recently been published by the academic journal Obesity. The authors found no statistically significant decrease in childhood obesity since 2011-2012 and a significant increase in obesity since 1999.
Despite the failure of clinical interventions and an aggressive federal school nutrition policy that has done little but raise the cost of school meals, Skinner and her colleagues contend that public policy can come to the rescue. They conclude, “Coordinated efforts, through integration of clinical and community systems, and supported by policies addressing population-level and individual needs, are necessary to address a complex, recalcitrant problem.”