More than one quarter of Israeli children are overweight or obese, according to a new Health Ministry study, Israel Radio reported Sunday. 


According to the study, to be presented Monday at a conference on child welfare in Be’er Sheva, some 570,000 children in grades 1 through 9 are overweight. Of the 27 percent of Israeli children who fall into this category, 16 percent are overweight and another 11 percent are obese. 


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The number of overweight children in Israel appears to be a cause for alarm among parents. Last month, dozens of parents, children, educators and nutritionists held a vigil in Jerusalem to protest against unhealthy meals served to children between the ages of three and nine at after-school programs.


The protesters gathered outside the Education Ministry and distributed unhealthy food from after-school programs to officials to “illustrate to them the importance of the problem of nutrition in the education system.”