Study Says 1 in 4 Third Graders Are Obese

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

January 27, 2006
One in four Georgia third graders are obese and that’s scary considering that obesity in children is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and low self-esteem. The study released by the Georgia Department of Human Resources earlier this week also found that girls are more likely to be obese than boys and black children were more likely to be obese than white children. Now schools are trying to battle the buldge.

Dr. Joni Lawton is getting these first and second graders at Westmont Elementary into shape.

“Come on, so you can show me when you get over here,” Lawton said.

But if they don’t keep this up, by the time they reach third grade their bodies will take a different form.

“In the summer when they come back we notice they need to start working again, they’ve put on those extra pounds,” Lawton said.

A study released by the Georgia Department of Human Resources found that 43 percent of Georgia third graders were either overweight or obese.

“Yes, we’ve seen larger kids, especially the Nintendo and Playstation and so many electronic toys have come in to play,” Lawton said.

But Dr. Lawton refuses to sit back. While preparing her kids for the Annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser, and while they may not realize it, it’s also battling the buldge.

For every five miles for students here at Westmont Elementary in physical education the class they get one of these, it’s an incentive a part of the Mileage Club.

“When they reach certain mile marks like at 50 miles they get a glow in the dark tow token at 100 miles they get an ice tow token,” Lawton said.

And it’s incentives like toe tokens and stickers that will create a healthier attitude in the future.

“I think it is our society everybody is in such a hurry, you don’t have time to exercise,” Lawton said.

While schools are trying to do their part with nutrition and physical activity, experts say it needs to continue in the home.


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