JANUARY 19, 2006 - Posted at 11:44 a.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Thirty-eight percent of Arkansas' public school children are overweight or at risk of being overweight. Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences presented their findings today on the effects of a 2003 state law that called for mandatory and voluntary changes in the schools to address childhood obesity.
UAMS researchers surveyed teachers, administrators, students and their families to evaluate the effectiveness of Act 1220. They reported that changes made among the state's schools have included prohibiting the use of food as a reward, offering more fruits and vegetables on lunch menus, removing deep fryers and increasing the availability of low-fat and low-sugar beverages and snacks.