ASU Early Learning Center combating obesity early - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ASU Early Learning Center combating obesity early

Updated:

February 25, 2008

Albany--  It's a dangerous health epidemic. 1 in 4 third grade children is obese in Georgia. Many of those children will grow up to keep those unhealthy habits.

At Albany State University, it's like a bootcamp for kids. "The class is good," said 6-year-old Gabriel Charles.

The class is aimed at getting kids moving. Here you'll find them doing everything from lunges to pushups. They will tell you that it can get hard.

"A little. But it's fun," said 11-year-old Jasmine Jackson.

Call it challenging fun. 6-year-old Gabriel Charles is in the middle of it all.

"It was a little bit hard," said Gabriel.

He says it's a little bit hard, but that hard work can lead to a big payoff in the end.

"Muscles," said Gabriel.

"This is a more active approach towards being healthy," said ASU Early Learning Center After School Coordinator Michelle Jackson.

Albany State's Early Learning Center started this fitness program in September. Children get at least 30 minutes of activity twice a week. Fitness Coach Antonio Leroy says too many other things take up kids time these days.

"Playstations, X-boxes, sony handgames, cell phones," said Leroy. Which can ultimately lead to other problems as adults if children don't get active. "Hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol," said Leroy.

That's why they're combating the problem early. "Just try to put the fun back in the living and the youth back in the youth," said Leroy.

 And the youth seem to be paying attention. Gabriel will hopefully walk away with the muscles he's looking for and some other healthy lessons.

"You have to eat your vegetables and drink your water," said Gabriel.

"They make your body healthy and you know what to do when you get older," said Jasmine.

Outside, Monday's lesson is now complete and more lessons are sent home. "Do your homework tonight. Eat all your vegetables obey your parents and well see you guys again wednesday ok?," said Leroy to the kids.

Because on Wednesday they'll have to be ready when the whole process starts again.  

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