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The Boston Globe reports on Planet Health, described as “an obesity-prevention curriculum created in the 1990s by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and currently used by all of Boston's middle schools and about 75 suburban middle schools, (that) has had a welcome effect: In schools with the Planet Health curriculum, boys and girls watched less television, and fewer girls were obese or reported eating disorders, than in other schools.”

The Planet Health program isn’t so much anti-fat as pro-health. The Globe writes: “Planet Health doesn't use scare tactics, which could lead to kids feeling stigmatized or being bullied, which could lead them to seek an unhealthy fix like purging, fasting, diet pills, or laxatives…Instead, the program gets teachers to interweave messages about exercising more, watching less television, and eating healthier foods throughout the regular curriculum, from social studies to science to math.”

In fact, the only people who seem unaffected by the Planet Health approach are kids who were on diets or other weight control programs before getting to middle school. Which means, according to experts, that it is critical to bring the pro-health message to people at an earlier age.
KC's View:
This is exactly what schools ought to be doing. Education isn’t just about reading, writing and arithmetic. It is about helping young people learn to think, to reason, to make educated choices. It is about helping them be healthy.

Such programs are winners for everyone, it seems to us. The food industry would do well to be an active participant in these kinds of initiatives, embracing them, because they are shaping tomorrow’s consumers.