Wednesday, August 24, 2005
A study released this week shows that 22.7 percent of Americans are obese. That figure is up from a similar study conducted a couple of years ago, which reflected a 22 percent obese rate.
A breakdown on how many obese Americans are children wasn't revealed in the latest study findings, but it's a safe bet that our country's youth are well represented in that 22.7 percent figure.
Knowing that many of our children are out-of-shape and far too plump, it was encouraging to learn that the Mabton School Board this past Monday adopted a new nutrition and physical fitness policy. Two of the key elements in the policy include eliminating all candy and soda vending machines at the elementary school, and doing away with the sale of soda at the middle school/high school during normal daytime class hours. It's a great first step towards improving the overall health of the children who attend Mabton schools.
It will be equally as encouraging when other school districts in the Yakima Valley follow the lead of the Mabtons in our world.
Even more impressive would be a push towards overall better health by local families, themselves. Nothing earth shattering, something as simple as what Mabton has done would be sufficient. The types of things parents might consider could include banning all soft drinks in the home and replacing them with fruit drinks, and making candy treats a once-a-week reward as opposed to a daily staple. Taking it a step further, regular sit-down meals with healthy food choices is something that requires a bit more planning than ordering in a pizza or popping in a frozen entree into the microwave. But going the extra mile in the kitchen to provide wholesome culinary choices is well worth it. Parents should also encourage their children to play outdoors... whether it's shooting hoops, jumping rope or just kicking a can around the yard, as opposed to allowing their children to sit in front of the TV set or computer all day and night long.
Healthy minds and bodies increase the potential for success in school. Why not give your children all the ammunition they need to succeed?
. Editorials reflect the opinions of the Daily Sun News' editorial staff, not necessarily those of any one single person employed by the Daily Sun News.