Brooks County fights Child Obesity - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Brooks County fights Child Obesity

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October 20, 2006

Brooks County - Brooks County Hospital is teaming up with county schools to help fight child obesity.

Hospital staff and nurses say health education is the key, so they visited North Brooks Elementary to test students' blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and height.  "If you teach kids at a young age that they need to worry or be concerned about their health, then we've started them young, and they carry that out through their life," says Ladon Tool, an administrator at Brooks County Hospital.

The school staff is also making some changes in the lunch room.  To help keep the students at North Brooks Elementary healthy, they've swapped out fatty foods for healthier options and changed the way they prepare popular meals like hamburgers and fries.  "We're having more yogurts, more fruits, more vegetables, less fattening items and even some of the things that stayed the same on the lunches, they are made with less fattening ingredients," says Principal Irma Hall.

For healthier drinks and snacks, they traded a vending machine for a slushy machine.  "The only drinks they would have access to other than water and milk during the lunch time would be slushies, but we make sure we only sell the kind that are at least 50% juice or more," she adds

They hope taking these steps will teach these young students healthy habits now that will carry through adulthood.

Despite the steps the school has taken, the Brooks County health team has found some abnormal blood pressure and blood sugar results in the schools they've visited.  They hope this awareness will help carry these healthier habits out of the school and into the home.

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