American Medical Association Wants Obesity Education Taught in Schools

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, June 21, 2012

The American Medical Association wants schools to include a yearly curriculum aimed at preventing obesity for public school kids and teens.

The nation's largest professional society of doctors agreed to support legislation that would require classes that taught the causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first through 12th graders. Doctors will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help with that under the new policy adopted on the final day of the AMA's annual policymaking meeting.

Doctors at the meeting shared sobering statistics and personal stories in urging the AMA to sharpen its focus on obesity prevention.

"I can't tell you the number of 40-pound 1-year-olds I see every day," Dr. Melissa Garretson, a Stephensville, Texas pediatrician, told the delegates before Wednesday's vote. She said requiring obesity education "is a great idea."

The measure was drafted by the AMA's Pennsylvania delegation. It cited data showing that more than 300 million people worldwide are obese and said requiring nutrition education to prevent obesity has never been proposed.

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