10 Big Ways to Fight Obesity in Your School

by SKHC Editor on April 2, 2010

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of children who are overweight has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Among teenagers it is even worse with the number increasing more than three times in the same period. This had led to over 10 million children falling into the overweight or obese category. Being obese or overweight at such a young age can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.

With a prediction of one in three children falling into this category in the near future, the problem is more serious than ever. Even if you are not obese, chances are many of your friends are. So how best to help them or yourself? One good idea is to tackle the problem when you are all together at school. While teachers and administrators may brush aside the worries of one child, a group of children, especially those united with their parents, can make a huge difference. Whether working as a team or solo, the below ten ways to fight obesity in your school have loads of useful help to improve diet, exercise, and more.

1. It Starts at Home: You are only in school about 30 hours a week and eat only five meals a week there. In reality, diet, activity, and lifestyle are all begun at home usually before a child even enters school. Also what is done for breakfast, dinner, weekends, and vacations are also taking place at home. In this article, two obese children discuss what the battle in daily life is like. If you are an obese or overweight child, discuss with your parents what can be done to address the issue at home before tackling the school.

2. Get Your Parents Involved: Because sometimes grown-ups don’t listen to kids, get your parents involved in the fight against obesity. One of the best ways to do this is to have them attend a PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meeting in your school. Have them visit this site of the national board to find your local one. There are also other resources for joining and running a PTA.

3. Let’s Move: The First Lady established this campaign to address the weight issues effecting today’s children. Visit the site to get tips for getting parents the support they need, providing healthier food in schools, getting kids active, and making healthy food affordable and available. Learn more about the benefits of joining by visiting the site.

4. Look Before You Leap: If weary about the above and letting the government into your pantry, check out this article from Grist. It addresses many of the concerns about the Let’s Move program. Both the pros and cons of it are discussed so parents, children, and educators can make informed decisions.

5. Get Out and Play: Nothing burns calories, fat, carbs, and sugar like good old-fashioned physical activity. Unlike the olden days, students can now use the internet for help. This program, entitled Fuel Up To Play 60, is a competition for schools to win prizes just for eating right and getting active. Sponsored by the NFL, the site has tons of tips on how to fight obesity in your school. Even if you don’t live within the parameters, there are still resources.

6.  Label Away: The vending machines offer tons of tasty treats, yet some kids may not know which the best and worst choices are. Something as simple as a snack bar or soda can actually contain hundreds of calories, loads of fat, and be drenched in sugar, ruining any physical activity you had that day. Visit this link to see which snacks are best in the candy bar, chips, cookies, and other areas from Eat This, Not That. Ask your school’s permission to mark the vending machines. Then visit to get a guide on how you can print labels to put a “check” or an “X” next to the good and bad choices.

7. Sports Isn’t For Everyone: If you have no desire to join the football team, don’t worry. There are still options for all sorts of students who aren’t athletic. Students can take dance, gardening, or other lower impact sports to get in the recommended daily activity. This article from “The New York Times” has more on the Lifelong Fitness classes that have been popping up in schools. Some schools even offer yoga or Pilates for an alternative way to get fit.

8.  But I Like Sports!: If you want to burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time, sports may be the way to go. The experts at HowStuffWorks have gathered the top twelve calorie-burning entries and share more about each. The top ones include running, climbing, and swimming which can burn up to 450 calories in just 30 minutes.

9. BYOL: If your school still isn’t getting anything done to fight obesity, take matters into your own hands. You are by no means forced to eat or drink anything the school offers. Show this article from WebMD to your parents to get 15 brown bag lunch ideas chock full of tasty and healthy options. Be sure bring a little extra for your friends who think they don’t like pitas or sushi. You can also find ideas for low fat lunches and. You can also consider starting healthy potluck lunches with your buddies and their parents where each parent makes a healthy lunch one day a week for the whole group.

10. Consider Report Cards: In 2004, a New Jersey middle school had a high amount of overweight and obese students. So they started a BMI report card. Students received these cards much like they would for grades to pass along to their parents. When faced with the truth about their child’s condition, many parents took steps on their behalf. While each state is different on regulations, if students and parents have questions on this matter, they should get involved.

Although school is a place for learning, there are also tons of opportunities to fight obesity through both diet and movement. Whether taking the stairs, skipping the soda, or just going for a few laps around the school in between classes, students can find loads to do on their own in addition to implementing the above 10 big ways to fight obesity in your school.

Because obesity doesn’t disappear overnight, be sure to hang in there, don’t beat yourself up for every stumble, and get as many people involved in the fight as possible. For more tips on how to battle obesity, visit Kids Health to get tips on staying healthy just for you, along with stuff for your parents.

Blog courtesy of OnlineDegree.net

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: