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Obesity down in sugar-free schools

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13:24 CEST+02:00
Stockholm schools that banned sweets, buns and soft drinks saw the number of overweight children drop by six percentage points in four years, a Karolinska Institute study published on Monday showed.

The number of overweight or obese six-to-10-year-olds dropped from 22 to 16 percent in the 10 Stockholm schools that participated in the study by banning sweets and introducing healthier lunches, the Swedish research institute said in a statement.

A control group of schools that did not introduce specific food regulations saw the number of overweight or obese children rise from 18 to 21 percent.

The results of the project were to be presented on Monday in Budapest at an international conference on obesity.

"Our results show that programmes to reduce the increasing rate of obesity can be carried out within the schools' existing budgets," the head of the project, Professor Claude Marcus, said in the statement.

"We also interpret the results to mean that clear regulations in schools can help parents to set standards for their children and improve dietary habits at home," it said.

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