Shrewsbury Students Have Average Obesity Rates

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Members of the Shrewsbury High School Student Advisory Council meet with the school committee. Among topics discussed were changes to the school's nutrition standards. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — The state has released a two-year study on children's weight, and according to that report, Shrewsbury's student population is close to the Massachusetts average when it comes to obesity.

More than 1,700 Shrewsbury students were screened and 17.1 percent were listed as overweight, while 11 percent were obese.

Almost 2.5 percent of Shrewsbury students were underweight.

The report was released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's School Health Unit. It includes results of body mass index screenings performed during the 2010-2011 school year on more than 205,000 students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10. About 70 percent of Massachusetts public school students were screened. School nurses were placed in charge of the screenings.

According to the study, 65 percent of Massachusetts students were considered to have a healthy weight more than 16 percent were overweight and more than 15 percent were considered obese.

In each of the four grades tested, more males than females fell into the obese or overweight category.

Download the complete report at the link below.

Shrewsbury already has taken steps in line with state nutrition standards for food items sold separately from the school meal programs, including food sold in vending machines and snack bars. For example, no trans fats are allowed, sodium is limited and all breads must be whole grain.

The Shrewsbury High School Student Advisory Committee told the school board Oct. 3 most students have been fine with changes that were implemented in August. However, they noted there had been some complaints that sports drinks and iced tea no longer were available. The new state standards only allow juice, milk and water to be sold.

Attached: Mass Childhood Obesity Study (status-childhood-obesity-2011.pdf)

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