Narrator: This is Science Today. Childhood obesity is an epidemic, with national figures indicating the percentage of children and adolescents defined as overweight has more than doubled since the early 1970s. Patricia Crawford, co-director of the Center for Weight and Health at the University of California, Berkeley, says a variety of national and statewide preventative measures and campaigns are in place.
Crawford: The schools have been the place where it seems there's been the most movement right now. Parent groups, school boards, policy makers have been interested in making a change in the child's food and activity environment in schools.
Narrator: Since school is such a large part of a child's day, the promotion of healthier foods and healthier activities could have a great impact.
Crawford: We at the Center for Weight and Health are conducting several studies right now on changing beverages in high schools – what the effects of that are. We are also working with elementary schools and middle schools to change the food offerings and physical activity offerings and to look at the effects of those.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.