Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lily Geismer

Reader 2

Tessa Solomon-Lane

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Rights Information

2023 Kristin LeBlanc


The national rate of childhood obesity in 2017-2020 was 19.7%, affecting 14.7 million children nationwide. Childhood obesity decreases a child’s quality of life, affecting not only their physical health, but also their social and emotional wellbeing and performance in school. I propose that the best place to enact childhood obesity reform is in schools, because every child in America is required to attend school, and thus schools have a strong influence. In this review, I first examined school food/lunch. I found that school lunch reform, while imperfect, has had an impressive history and has generally gained more attention and funding throughout the years. I then shift my attention to other areas in the school more urgently requiring childhood obesity reforms: nutrition education, physical education, recess, and sports. These four key areas have seen consistent decreases in their prevalence and funding in schools in the past few decades, while childhood obesity rates have consistently increased. Increased awareness, increased funding, and increased accessibility to these four spheres will improve childhood nutrition and education, thus lowering rates of childhood obesity. In order for meaningful change to occur, the burden to implement these reforms must not fall solely on the teacher, rather it must be a collective, large-scale effort on the school, school district, state, and/or national level.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.