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Recipe for ending obesity: Revive home economics class

Reintroducing home economic classes into the public school curriculum could be an effective tool in teaching Americans how to make healthier choices and in curbing the nation's obesity epidemic, argue a pair of Boston researchers in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the article, David Ludwig, MD, PhD, and Alice Lichtenstein, a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University, advocate for a 21st century version of the home economics course that emphasizes cooking nutritious foods at home using simple, inexpensive ingredients. They write:

Home economics, otherwise known as domestic education, was a fixture in secondary schools through the 1960s, at least for girls. The underlying concept was that future homemakers should be educated in the care and feeding of their families. This idea now seems quaint, but in the midst of a pediatric obesity epidemic and concerns about the poor diet quality of adolescents in the United States, instruction in basic food preparation and meal planning skills needs to be part of any long-term solution.

The concept of reviving home economics classes is an interesting solution. Offering such as class could provide opportunities to educate students about other health-related topics such as stress management, eating disorders and alcohol and drug abuse.

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