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Texas gets call for action against obesity

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DALLAS, Sep 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Texas has altered school menus in a battle against one of the highest rates of child obesity in the nation, but experts said Wednesday more action is needed.

Obesity in U.S. children has doubled during the past 20 years. In Texas, about 35 percent of the state's school children are classified as overweight or obese.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs has instituted a "Square Meal" program that requires public schools to follow tough new nutritional guidelines in meals.

Combs received praise for her program at a state summit on child obesity in Dallas, but experts warned more must done in Texas and the nation.

Dr. William Klish, professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine, said today's generation of children will not live as long as their parents if its not controlled.

Klish said prevention is most important in stemming the growth of obesity in children because treatments are not effective. He said youngsters must be taught at an early age the importance of a proper diet and exercise.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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