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Strategies for Promoting Healthy Weight and Healthy Lives for Children in the Delta

Beverly J. McCabe-Sellers, Earline Strickland, Dalia Lovera, M. Kathleen Yadrick and Margaret L. Bogle
Race, Gender & Class
Vol. 16, No. 3/4 (2009), pp. 133-140
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41674680
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Strategies for Promoting Healthy Weight and Healthy Lives for Children in the Delta
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Abstract

One in three children in Mississippi have weights that increase their risks for early onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, arthritis and consequent early disability and death. Children in school today are projected to be the first generation of Americans to die at an earlier age than their parents' generation. Many factors have contributed to this "obesity epidemic" and multiple strategies are needed to counter its impact. A collaboration of Agricultural Research Service and six universities has led to research studies in Washington County, MS and Phillips County AR that have addressed two critical elements in schools, summer day camps, and after-school programs. Major efforts have focused on providing children 1) exposure to new fruits and vegetables to promote willingness to try new foods and healthier diets and 2) encouraging physical activities that are fun and avoid having to be a "winner." These efforts combined with the promotion of improved literacy skills can lead to a better economic future and reduce the health burdens associated with poverty. Multiple components efforts are essential for longer and healthier lives for the current and future generations of school children in the Delta. All communities need to become involved in health promotion of their youth.

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