Battling Childhood Obesity – New Program Teaches Teachers
Over half of Louisiana's children are obese. That is a startling statistic. If the problem is not addressed that just means more overweight adults in the future. That's not a good future for Louisiana. Studies show how much obesity contributes to other health issues as we age so nipping the problem in the bud is quite a priority.
LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center has announced a new program in conjunction with Southeastern Louisiana University aimed at teaching teachers how to teach and motivate overweight children. Pennington Assistant Professor Amanda Staiano says the project is called I-PAL which is an acronym for Interactive Physical Activity Lab. It will be based in Hammond Louisiana.
The program is designed to not only help children but to help those teachers who will be teaching those children. P.E. Teachers, Dieticians, and others directly involved in health and nutrition will learn in this real life laboratory how to effectively communicate and educate children who are obese. Professor Staiano explains,
We want to try to teach them how exercise can be fun. It serves a dual purpose, both reaching out to the kids who can sign up to come to the lab, and the college students on how to work with these children.
The program is scheduled to launch in the fall and while the long range goal is to ultimately promote a healthier lifestyle among Louisiana's children, the short term goal is to educate educators on how to mentor those children and teach them healthy lifestyle choices.