Fighting child obesity - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fighting child obesity

March 7, 2007

Valdosta - Obesity is a problem plaguing the nation and studies indicate the number of American children having obesity surgery has tripled.

The South Health District in Valdosta hopes a new program will scale down this problem in the area.  "It's going to increase physical activity, nutrition awareness among middle school kids to decrease childhood obesity," says project director Damares Daoud.

It's called the Physical Activity Program and it's been implemented at Valdosta and Lowndes Middle Schools twice a week.

The program uses games and activities to get students active before school.  "The walking program is really popular right now because they can socialize but we do any type of game or anything that will get them moving," she adds.

And it's popular with the kids.  "When I get up in the morning, I don't feel like doing anything so I come here to get my blood flowing so I go to my classes, do my work and have a good day," says 7th grader Jasmine Robinson.

Perhaps too popular.  "We've had to limit the number of kids coming down in the morning because so many wanted to come," says Principal Martin Roesch.

"It's usually on a first come first serve basis. They have passes they give out," adds Daoud.

The South Health District hopes to expand on the program next year to four days a week and begin a similar program in the elementary schools.

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