Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States. Pennsylvania ranks 20th in childhood obesity with 29.7percent of children considered overweight according to the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality. School is a perfect place to start addressing the issue of childhood obesity.
First of all, students should be required to take a class instructing them how to improve their nutrition. If students can learn how to distinguish what is health to eat and what is not, they can begin to make healthier choices. Also, with the information provided about nutrition, students can analyze the amount of unhealthy foods they are eating and be motivated to want to change their bad habits.
Secondly, students need to be more active in and out of school. Kids sit in class all day without doing any physical activity and some are not involved in any extracurricular events. Gym classes should be all year round, and encourage students to make activity a part of their daily lives.
Also, the school should hold a family fun night at least once a month to promote students and their families getting off the couch and being active.
Finally, to improve nutrition in the school, administrators should get rid of the soda machines and snack shack, places where unhealthy snacks and drinks can be purchased. If these things were removed, students could start practicing their habits of eating and drinking healthier things in school, bringing those improved habits home, leading to a healthier life style.
Lastly, students should only be permitted to purchase one lunch instead of a double lunch.
We cannot continue to wait to address this important health issues. Schools are in the perfect position to take the lead in fighting childhood obesity.
Colin Hoke, Selinsgrove Area High School