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[report整理] SENEWS-2010-03-17

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hw senews 2010-03-17

This is the VOA special English health report.

Researchers say American children now eat average of 3 snacks a day between meals.A study found that those snacks add up to almost one third of all daily calories eaten by children.And those extra calories could help explain rise in overweight children in the United States.

The study was done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.The researchers study the diets of 31,000 children ages 2 to 18 over a 30-year period.They found that snacking has increased since the 1970s.And what kinds of snacks has increased most? Salty high fat foods like chips.The study also found greater snacking on cake,cookies and other treats that past generations might have saved for after dinner.The study is in the journal health affairs.

Nutrition professor Berry Popekin was the lead investigator.He says parents should limit snacks to one a day for children that age 6 and older.He also advises parents and care givers to provide healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables.Professor Popekin says American schools also need to improve their nutrition.For example,schools may have vending machines that offer what many people would consider junk food.There has been a push for schools to offer more healthful snacks and lunch choices and fewer sugaring drinks.

Earlier in this month,Coca Cola said it would stop selling sugaring drinks in American schools unless parents request then.Its competitor as Pepsi just announced that they would stop sells of sugared drinks to schools world-wide.America's top public health officer wants to see more changes like this.

Surgeon general Regina Benjamin recently spoke to lawmakers about making healthy food more available.

"It's a growing consist that we, as a nation need recreate our communities and our environments where the healthy choices,or the easy choices and the affordable choices."

Agriculture secretary Tom W who has talked about his own childhood struggle with weight agrees about the need.

"We need to do a much better job of making sure what's in the vending machines is very consistent.We think that the time comes for standards."

First Lady Michelle Obama is leading a campaign to fight childhood obesity.Public health officials reported in January that 17 percent of American children are severely overweight.

And that's the VOA special English health report,written by Kitty Weaver.For more health news and to comment on
our stories visit us at voaspecialenglish.com.I'm Steve Ember.
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