New York City Schools Target Obesity

Written by Patricia Hawke for

Ok, let’s chew the fat. It seems that everyone these days is talking about fat. Good fats, bad fats, fatty acids, fat bottoms, fat middles, fat, fat, fat. One of the biggest concerns is fat kids. There are so many out there, that the population is stuffed with them. Every city and town in every state in the nation can say that they have a childhood obesity problem, and it is growing.
What are the Causes of Childhood Obesity in New York City Schools??
Our society has become even more sedentary, and for children, childhood obesity is the consequence that has been paid. Kids sit around watching TV, playing video games or surfing the net when they should be outdoors, getting fresh air and their blood pumping.
In addition, our diet is filled with fatty food, and loaded with preservatives and other ingredients that are impossible to pronounce. Consuming large amounts of snack food like chips, cookies and candies while sitting on one’s duff is a recipe for thunder thighs and spare tires. While there aren’t tons of kids with these physical symptoms, kids that are fat face a greater chance of staying that way when they grow up.
What are New York City Schools doing about it?
A 2003 census showed that 47% of students attending New York City schools were obese. That is 47% too many! With an extremely high rate of fat kids going to the public New York City schools, it is of dire importance for school leaders to do something about the problem.
In partnership with the New York Road Runners Foundation, New York City schools have formed “Mighty Milers” -a fitness program aimed at helping kids get fit and stay that way. At participating New York City public schools, physical education teachers in New York City schools attend special training sessions sponsored by the Road Runners. Afterwards, they can take their knowledge back to their New York City schools and get kids up on their feet.
Kids aim for a yearly goal of walking or running 26 miles – a marathon – and receive a t-shirt, ribbons, and awards for their accomplishments. They can also track their progress on their own personal web page. Kids involved in this New York City schools’ program walk 20 laps to make a mile, and then follow up their run/walk with other exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and games such as volleyball.
What’s good to see is that not only have New York City schools recognized the problem; they are trying very hard to do something about it. Ever one of the frontrunners in what’s hot in education, New York City schools have put physical health as a top priority. Without this focus, it is extremely likely that too many students of New York City schools would find themselves all grown-up…and grown-out.