Conflicting views reign on the childhood obesity epidemic among West Virginia school children, specifically over the role diet plays in making youth fat.
Is the menu too heavily laced with sugar and laden with excessive starch, as the owner of a day care center in Beckley maintains, or is it not a contributor to bulging girths, as the state Department of Education insists?
One thing in the debate is agreed upon universally, however.
And that is a generally unchallenged belief that the children of today spend far too much time parked in front of a television set, computer or with high-tech devices, as opposed to earlier generations that whiled away free hours outdoors, getting in plenty of exercise to minimize body fat.
Mindful of that, a Boulder, Colo., firm, GeoPalz, has embarked on a mission to outfit school children with colorful, decorative pedometers as a means of encouraging them to walk. In company vernacular, the device is actually known as a tri-axis accelerometer
“It can be worn on the shoe or the hip,” says Molly Noonan, who handles the firm’s public relations with BLASTmedia, based in Indianapolis.