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State of New Hampshire Publishes Guidelines for Preventing Childhood Obesity

By Kevin Leach, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
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A New Hampshire organization called the Commission to Prevent Childhood Obesity recently presented fourteen recommendations for preventing childhood obesity to New Hampshire governor, John Lynch. The recommendations are:

1. For New Hampshire to create statewide rules regarding the sale of all food and beverages at public schools that are not covered under the United States Department of Agriculture’s school meals program;
2. For laws to be passed requiring all chain restaurants to label menus with nutrition information;
3. To enforce the existing policy requiring daily physical activity for all students;
4. For school personnel to perform an annual comprehensive fitness assessment and provide a report to the child and his or her parents with the results;
5. For the department of education to reinstate the Physical Education and Health Coordinator;
6. For after school programs to provide healthy snacks and provide some form of physical activity;
7. To modify child care licensing requirements to require physical activity for the children;
8. For the Department of Health and Human Services to regulate and monitor the meals and physical activity levels of children in state care;
9. To expand the New Hampshire Farm to School Program, which helps children learn more about healthy eating by encouraging schools to purchase food from local farms;
10. To make communities more friendly for walking and bicycling;
11. To pass a law requiring all health insurance providers to pay for visits from registered dieticians for children with a BMI percentile-for-age equal or greater than 85 percent;
12. To provide continuing medical education for health care providers specific to childhood obesity;
13. To require primary care providers to assess BMI percentile-for-age at the annual checkup for all patients between two and twenty years of age; and
14. To require schools to assess BMI percentile-for-age annually as part of their accreditation requirements.

Even though these recommendations are specific to the State of New Hampshire, parents, educators and healthcare professionals in every state can take a few pointers from this list to help children in their state fight obesity. Find out more about the recommendations at Recommendations to prevent childhood obesity.