Lake Forest School District Kicking the Obesity Habit - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lake Forest School District Kicking the Obesity Habit


HARRINGTON, Del.- Lake Forest School District is fighting obesity amidst a national epidemic.

A study recently released Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine claims Americans are tipping the scales. Experts say the average American cannot maintain a healthy weight in a obesity-promoting environment. According to the study, in the near future 42 percent of American adults will be obese, compared to 34 percent now, and 11 percent will be severely obese, compared to the current 6 percent. For this reason, schools should be a cornerstone of the nation's obesity battle.

Two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost a third of children are either overweight or obese, and progress to stop this epidemic has been too slow, the Institute of Medicine said in its report.

Most people know they should eat less and move more. But the institute makes clear this is not just an individual, but a societal problem: For a host of reasons, sedentary lives have become the norm and Americans are surrounded by cheap, high-calorie foods.

Carrie Reirden, a cafeteria director at Lake Forest South Elementary, said school is where children spend most of their time and consume most of their calories.

"We encourage students to eat fresh fruits and vegetables," said Reirden. "There are plenty of low-calories food options for students."

School officials at Lake Forest South Elementary are aware that many schools have slashed physical education and cut into recess in recent years in an effort to increase learning time amidst tighter budgets. However, they do not want to jeopardize the crucial role physical activity and good nutrition play in children's lives. Public schools in Delaware may soon be required to provide at lease 150 minutes of physical activity a week for all kindergarten through 5th grade students.

"We get up and exercise during reading, math and science. Everything involves some kind of exercise at one point during the day," said Lake Forest teacher David Hudson. "It is very important for the children to be healthy so they can grow up and be healthy adults.


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