Schools helping children fight fat
School nurses being trained to join obesity campaign
August 10, 2009
by Gary Pettus
Jackson Clarion Ledger
After two years of eating more vegetables and fewer burgers and fries, Montanna Flanagan, 13, has lost 1.4 pounds for every year she's been alive...
Many more of Mississippi's schoolchildren should do something about their weight, health experts say.
A report released in July, F as in Fat, said this state has the highest rate of obese and overweight children in the country: 44.4 percent.
A weighty problem
- Mississippi has the nation's highest rate of obese and overweight children (ages 10 to 17): 44.4 percent.
- Mississippi also has the highest rate of adult obesity: 32.5 percent.
- Minnesota and Utah have the lowest rate of obese and overweight children: 23.1 percent.
- Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of obese and overweight children are in the South (Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia).
- Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in this country.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that when it comes to children and teens, there are no rigid guidelines for healthy weight ranges because those ranges change "with each month of age for each sex" and "as height increases."
- The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) to screen for overweight and obese in children and teens, ages 2-19.
Sources: F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009 from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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