New Program Helps Schools Combat Childhood Obesity
Posted Sep 04 2012 7:42pm
From a local CBS affiliate…..
School districts strapped for cash are finding creative ways to fight childhood obesity. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and The Cooper Institute are honoring schools in North Texas by offering incentives to tackle the growing epidemic.
Forty-percent of school children in Texas are overweight or obese.
“Research now supports the link between physical fitness and classroom success,” United Way CEO Jennifer Sampson explained. “With children in school seven hours a day, five days a week, it’s vital to shape an environment to move them toward both physical and academic success.”
The program is called Healthy Zone. It provides teachers with approximately $8,000 in funding for educational tools and physical education equipment to create fun ways to stay in shape–and get kids active. Schools selected also receive nutritional training to improve food choices in the cafeterias.
“We can’t just rely on fitness,” said Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper. “Fitness alone is not going to solve the obesity problem with have with our American children and American adults. It has to be a combination of proper nutrition and exercise.”
The program kicked off in North Texas last year with 12 schools. It was such a success, 20 new schools are on board this year.
The big announcement came Tuesday at Arapaho Classical Magnet, a school that is in the program and now has a jump rope team thanks to the new initiative.