Lake Forest (Del.) School District Kicking the Obesity Habit

Marion Herbert's picture
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lake Forest (Del.) School District is kicking the obesity epidemic. Schools should, they believe, be a cornerstone of the nation's obesity battle.

A study released by the Institute of Medicine claims Americans are tipping the scales. Expert's say the average American can not maintain a healthy weight in a obesity-promoting environment. 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. 

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 influential Institute of Medicine said in its report released Tuesday. Most of us know we should eat less and move more. But the institute makes clear this isn't just an individual but a societal problem: For a host of reasons, sedentary lives have become the norm and we're surrounded by cheap, high-calorie foods.

Carrie Reirden a cafeteria director at Lake Forest South Elementary says 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 P.E. and cut into recess in recent years in an effort to increase learning time amid 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 K through 5 students.

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