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Factors that contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic

Amy Ellen Schwartz, PhDSyracuse University professor Amy Ellen Schwartz, PhD, examines factors that may influence America's obesity epidemic in schoolchildren. She has looked at physical education, school lunches and the barriers to walking to school. More recently she studied the obesity rates in New York City schools that installed water jets in school cafeterias, which allow kids to quickly fill cups or bottles with cold water. "After the installation of the water jets, obesity rates go down, and weight goes down," she says. "And we're convinced it's a causal relationship because we can compare it with schools that did not get the water jets." Schwartz specializes in economics in SU's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.