Local Leaders Launch Program To Fight Childhood Obesity
Posted Sep 20 2012 3:02pm
From The Montgomery Advertiser…..
In an effort to combat childhood obesity in Montgomery, city and school leaders are planning to launch a program that will encourage children and families to live a healthy lifestyle.
The campaign will kick off with participation in International Walk to School Day on Oct 3. This is the second year the district has participated, but Superintendent Barbara Thompson said the event will be much more coordinated this year.
Principals of each of the 52 public schools in Montgomery will decide if his or her school will participate. Thompson said those that do participate will be tasked with finding appropriate drop-off locations, or an alternative walking route near the school, depending on its location and traffic.
Thompson said she doesn’t have a definite number of schools that will be participating.
School leaders will meet with the Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission this week to discuss ways to promote the program. The commission received a Safe Routes to School grant from the Alabama Department of Transportation, which will help pay for promotional materials.
In addition, traffic engineers from ALDOT will be available to help schools re-design parent drop-off areas near schools, which will encourage them to park and walk their children into school instead of waiting in a line, said Sara Byard, community development manager of the regional development commission.
“We are trying to get schools to adopt more permanent walking programs,” Byard said.
Other counties participating in the program with the regional development commission include Elmore, Autauga, Lowndes and Macon.
A report released this week said by 2030, more than 60 percent of adults in Alabama will be obese. The current rate is about 32 percent, which is the fourth highest in the nation. Mississippi was ranked No. 1 with a 35 percent obesity rate.