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Rise in Childhood Diabetes

By: Angela Salerno
By: Angela Salerno

The battle of the bulge continues to take its toll on America and the last 30 years the nation has seen a rise in childhood diabetes.

"With type two diabetes we are noticing a huge increase, what used to be thought of a disease with 40-year-olds that are inactive and overweight we are now seeing it in high school, middle school and now even as low as elementary schools," said Mary Murphy, Leon County School Registered Nurse.

To combat the problem, Leon County schools are using grant dollars to promote better nutrition. Schools like Tallahassee's Belle Vue Middle School are getting its dose of calcium in fun re-sealable bottles.

"As a result of us serving this, milk consumption in middle school and high school has increased 22 percent over the last year," said Tim Tankersley, Director of Nutrition Services.

"Last year there used to be a lot of milk left over and now it is like everybody is getting milk," said Rosondunni Marshall, a Belle Vue Middle School student.

Studies show that children can delay the onset of type two diabetes by eating healthier and getting 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week.

"If the kids had more of a chance to be active, that coupled with more healthy meal plans, we know we would have a lot less kids who are in the obese category and that with developing type two diabetes," said Murphy.

Health experts said children should be presented with healthy foods at home, and more time should be spent playing outside rather than sitting in front of the computer or TV.

Teachers said the emphasis and need for academic achievement takes up a lot of free time, making it hard for students to have gym class.


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