Integrating Nutrition

With the ongoing fight against childhood obesity, area leaders are taking aim and looking to integrate nutrition into every area of public school life.

District meals are more nutritionally sounds than the USDA requires, turn to close salads are offered at every school, along with fresh fruit, but that is just the start to stomping out childhood obesity.

With a limited amount of time in the school day and the growing academic requirements, finding time to talk about nutrition can be a tough task. That's why local leaders hope integration will be the key to solving this time trial.

"Helps with school system because don't have to find a separate place to talk about, instead integrate it into reading writing and math, teach it while teaching other skills," says Robin Safely of Capital Health Plan Health Initiative.

Leaders say then nutrition becomes a part of the fabric, teaching kids it's a way of life, not just another topic learned. However, officials say to properly address the obesity issue. It has to be addressed more than just in a classroom.

"We must get community and parents involved because we can do all we want at school, but if not changed in attitude of nutrition it won't work," says Bill Montford, Leon County Schools Superintendent.

Which means getting kids to eat right doesn't stop when the school day ends. Healthy choices are often more expensive, leaving many parents no choice but to buy the more fatty foods.

"Gives parents the support tools and resources to be role models for some of the efforts that are taking place," says Jodee Dorsey

The issue of integrating nutrition was brought up during an FSU family institute advisory meeting. There has been a lot of talk about the dangers of childhood obesity lately.

Next week, February 5, a town hall meeting is actually scheduled to discuss the issue even more, and Monday at 6:00 you can tune in to WCTV for a special report on obesity.