Trying to Prevent Childhood Obesity
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2003 that one-third of Missouri students in grades 6-8 are overweight or in danger of becoming overweight. And, almost one-third of high school students in the state have the same problem.
"Being overweight as a youngster, your chance of being overweight as an adult increases," said Steve Ball of the University of Missouri's Department of Nutritional Sciences. "So, you are going to have all those problems associated with being overweight, coronary artery disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, cancer rates typically go up."
Ann Cohen added, "I would advise kids to drink water instead of any suger drink, [sugar-]added drinks or milk as their beverage choice and to eat fruits for snacks, to eat fruit when looking for a break between meals when it is hot, a nice, cool piece of fruit will really be a treat, and to eat more vegetables."
Missouri has launched several plans to help children get fit. And, next month, the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences will start a program, called "My Activity Pyramid for Kids."