Parents, Other Adults Are Key To Reversing Rate Of Childhood Obesity
Posted Jul 22 2012 9:10am
From Mount Airy…..
Health Promotion Specialist Celena Watson recently made a presentation to the Surry County Board of Commissioners which showed some alarming information.
Chief among her figures was the fact that 20 percent of Surry County children are clinically obese. That compares to a statewide average of 15 percent, and gives Surry County the third highest such rate in North Carolina.
Quite frankly, 15 percent is appalling — that’s more than one in every seven child — and 20 percent is beyond belief.
Local health and school officials have attempted to address this problem in various ways. Many of the county schools participate in a fresh fruits and vegetables program aimed at letting local school children have access to those commodities, with an emphasis on letting them try some fruits and vegetables they might not be used to from this region.
Local recreation and 4-H clubs have put in programs aimed at getting local youth involved in healthy activities, and the county has implemented the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program, funded by the N.C. Diabetes Prevention and Control Branch.
All of these programs are solid efforts that have shown some positive achievements among local youth, but more needs to be done. And that “more” cannot be further reliance on the school systems and government agencies. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles need to take an active role in educating children about nutrition (and maybe brushing up on those facts themselves), as well as getting their kids out of the house and doing some physical activity. Better yet, those adults should do the activities with their children and young relatives.