Kids sitting and drinking sports drink

As schools across the country reopened their doors this fall, hundreds of sixth graders in 42 middle schools enrolled in a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The HEALTHY study will determine if healthier choices from the cafeteria and vending machines, longer, more intense periods of physical activity, along with awareness campaigns that encourage healthy behaviors, lower risk factors for type 2 diabetes, an increasingly common disease in youth. Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to being overweight, inactive, and having a family history of diabetes. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight. Seventeen percent of 2 to 19 years olds are overweight — triple the rate in 1980.