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Obesity course urged

The American Medical Association has agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first through 12th graders.

Doctors at the meeting shared sobering statistics and personal stories in urging the AMA to sharpen its focus on obesity prevention.

“I can’t tell you the number of 40-pound 1-year-olds I see every day,” Dr. Melissa Garretson, a Stephensville, Texas pediatrician, told the delegates before last week’s vote. She said requiring obesity education “is a great idea.”

Obesity affects more than one-third of U.S. adults and almost one in five children, or more than 12 million kids.

Excess weight is strongly linked with diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, and weight loss of just 5 percent can help improve health, the Pennsylvania doctors’ measure said. (AP)

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