One fourth of students here found overweight

Friday, February 29, 2008

Marshall County school children are in line with statewide averages for weight, with only about 2 percent of students underweight for their age and sex, while 55 percent are at a healthy weight, according to recent screenings.

Nearly a quarter is already overweight, and the remainder is at risk of becoming overweight. Childhood obesity very often leads to adult obesity with accompanying health risks, especially of heart disease and diabetes.

Heather Lodari, Coordi-nator of the School Health Program, gave a Power Point presentation of the results Tuesday.

More than 100 notifying letters were sent out and the meeting was announced in the newspaper, but only four persons were present to hear about the results of health screenings performed on Marshall County students last fall.

The state of Tennessee is not just observing and deploring this trend. It is the first state to have a coordinated school health program. Action taken so far includes mandating that the schools schedule ninety minutes of physical activity per week, requiring that the food service follow USDA guidelines, and outlawing the sale of soft drinks to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

See Friday's Tribune for the complete story.