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.
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.”