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According to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the American childhood obesity rate has increased threefold within the past 25 years, a trend accompanied by increasing rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and even mortality. Obesity has grown so prevalent, in fact, that Centers for Disease Control estimate that one in three American children is obese. According to the Chan School of Public Health, unless legislation directly targeting America’s spiraling obesity rate is passed, the trend shows no signs of slowing or reversing.

Passing effective legislation requires a both an understanding of the causes of obesity and the current efforts in effect taken to reduce it. Currently, legislation aiming to reduce certain factors of obesity has been passed at the state and local levels. However, very few laws have been implemented nationally. Thus, millions of children live in an environment conducive to overweight and obesity.

To combat this, certain strategies can be used. For example, taxing unhealthy foods, revamping national and state regulations for school nutrition and physical education, and even beautifying communities could encourage Americans to lead more healthful lives. Essentially, national legislation to improve physical activity, quality of accessible food, and America’s increasingly sedentary lifestyle will reduce America’s climbing child obesity rate.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Public health


public health, obesity, child obesity, nutrition, fitness


Other Public Health

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Mary Boyes


© The Author(s)

Reducing Childhood Obesity in America through National Legislation