School gardening: a different approach to tackle childhood obesity?

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Maximilian Andreas Storz
Eric P Heymann


Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Insulin Resistance, Paediatric Health, Diet


The global incidence of childhood obesity has dramatically increased within the recent decades. Approximately 43 million pre-school children worldwide were estimated to be overweight and obese in 2010, while another 92 million were considered at risk of becoming overweight. According to the World Health Organization, overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that present a risk to human health. Especially the latter has been found to be strongly associated with the development of Insulin Resistance and often subsequent Diabetes Mellitus.

In order to tackle this alarming development, many campaigns and programs have been focused on reducing childhood obesity and promoting healthier diets among children in the past. However, since our nutritional behaviors are influenced by a large number of psycho-social factors, this is a challenging issue and a single approach might be insufficient in doing so. One potential way to encourage children towards a healthier diet, including more fruits and vegetables, is often overlooked: school gardening.