CROWLEY – In conjunction with March as National Nutrition Month, students at North Crowley Elementary experienced a walk they will never forget. This walk, called Louisiana Body Walk, is an informational, interactive guide during which students get to walk through tents, which represent each part of the body.
Volunteers from the LSU AgCenter, the school and members of the faculty provided information with the main message being, “Be smart from the inside out” throughout the walk.
Body Walk consists of 35-foot enclosed walk-through exhibits which represent different parts of the human body. Ten stations within the tent include the mouth, brain, stomach, small intestine, heart, lungs, bones muscles, skin and the pathway for life.
Body Walk is part of a program called Smart Bodies, a Louisiana youth program to promote healthy bodies and active minds. It is a comprehensive nutrition education and physical activity 4-H school enrichment program for children from kindergarten through fifth grade. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and the LSU AgCenter have joined forces to aim for improvement of the health of children in the state.
Smart Bodies is an innovative, three part program that is integrated into core curriculum academics to prevent children from becoming overweight or obese, and consist of three programs, which are, Body Walk, The Organ Wise Guys and Take 10! Classroom Program.
According to recent reports in the health care industry, obesity in Louisiana has reached epidemic proportions, as our state is ranked fourth highest in the country in obesity. Also it has been reported that 63 percent of Louisiana adults are overweight, and 17 percent of children are overweight. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and this disease not only increases health problems in childhood, but leads to the onset of adult obesity, which only becomes more serious with time.
Since 1990, the obesity rate in Louisiana has increased from 12.3 percent to 30.8 percent of the population total.
Extra risks associated with being obese are chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and some cancers. Obese adults also have a 36 percent higher average annual medical expenditure than adults as normal weight adults have.
For more information on childhood obesity, you may contact Virginia Moore of the Louisiana Council on Obesity Prevention and Management Coordinator at 225-769-9357.