Remember Act 1220, the state act that declared war on childhood obesity through Body Mass Index (BMI) reports to parents and healthier eating at school? Signed into law by Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2003, Act 1220 was hailed as one of the most ambitious child health initiatives in the nation, and was a big part of the health- and weightloss-focused platform that helped propel Huckabee into the national spotlight.
While the program has helped banish sugar-laced sodas and vending machine treats from many of Arkansas's public schools and got kids at least thinking about being more active according to a survey of parents, when it comes to the down and dirty numbers, as outlined in this pull-no-punches interpretation
of the latest data, the program doesn't seem to have done much good in fighting childhood obesity in the state, with virtually no change in the number of students whose BMI classifies them as "Obese" or "In danger of obesity."
Read a UAMS report on the fourth-year data here.