Childhood Obesity Down in Alaska
Anchorage has instituted programs from teacher training to changing the school lunch
ANCHORAGE - A recent study shows a slight decrease in childhood obesity in Anchorage. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report in September that showed rates in Philidelphia and New York City declining as well. While they can't point to one specific reason, they say the areas that see in an improvement are also areas that "are those that are taking comprehensive action to address the childhood obesity epidemic."
Anchorage has instituted programs from teacher training to changing the school lunch. Natalie Washington, who teaches Phsyical Education at Taku Elementary, said one of her classes teaches students something they can take with them for life. On Tuesday, 7- and 8-year-olds were learning to ice skate.
They varied in skill level, but by the end of class, some were advanced enough to skate backwards. "Teaching them these things when they're younger, they're more likely to do it when they get older and that's what we're looking for," said Washington.
Lifetime enjoyment of an activity is shown by the community who banded together when the rink was showing its age. Washington said they secured a grant for repairs. Locals volunteered to perform maintenance on the rink. They get to enjoy it too. When school isn't in session, its open to the public.
The community effort shows kids being fit can be fun.