Rate of Obesity in Israeli Children Increased Fivefold from 1950s to 1990s

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The issue of obesity is prevalent not just in the United States but also around the world as well, and no country is exempt. The recent report on obesity among Israeli children by a Knesset Committee shows that Israeli society has been as affected by this problem as has American society. The problem is outlined in an article by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich published in the Jerusalem Post on July 2nd, 2013 entitled "Children's obesity rising as schools fail to enforce regulations on sale of junk food." According to this article, the Knesset Education Committee found that between the 1950s and the 1990s the proportion of Israeli children who are overweight increased fivefold. The article also says that the study found that 42 percent of Israeli children drank at least once sweetened beverage each day, even though drinking sweetened beverages increases the risk of developing obesity by 22 percent.

According to this article, testimony that was delivered to the Knesset Education Committee said that 64 percent of the Israeli population is overweight, meaning that Israel has one of the ten highest percentages of overweight citizens in the world. According to the article, Israelis have the same degree of problems with obesity as do Americans. According to the article, Nir La'or, the director of the Israeli Forum for a Healthy Way of Life said that the Education Committee had engaged in an "important discussion on the nutrition of schoolchildren and the need to provide a supportive environment for their good health in a place where they spend so much of their time..."

Lastly, the article discusses how there are regulations about nutrition for schoolchildren in Israel but that these are not enforced adequately. Implementing regulations to curb obesity is a similar approach to the American regulations that were enacted recently. A Reuters article by Yasmeen Abutaleb entitled "New school snack food rules clamp down on calories, fat" published on June 27, 2013 outlines the new regulations. According to this article, the new regulations set limits on 12 ounce drinks that say that they can have no more than 60 calories. The article describes how Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discussed his own experiences as a child who suffered from obesity, saying, "You really can't concentrate and you cannot be the student you were intended to be if you are worried about what people think of you, so weight has always been an issue for me," Vilsack said while speaking in Portland, Maine in March 2013.

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Georgiy Kharchenko

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Georgiy Kharchenko
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