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Study: 4 of 5 Students Not Physically Fit in Georgia

By: Kara Duffy Email
By: Kara Duffy Email

By: Kara Duffy
February 20, 2013

Thomasville, GA- The problem of childhood obesity in Georgia seems to be getting bigger, despite Governor Nathan Deal's efforts to stop it.

"When we were growing up, we had P.E. classes all the way through until we graduated; everyday," said Lisa Hopland, a Thomasville Resident and mother of two teenagers. "Now, the kids don't have P.E. everyday and as they get into high school, they don't have hardly any P.E. at all."

As part of Deal's Georgia SHAPE anti-obesity initiative, nearly one million children across the state were evaluated on five areas of health-related fitness which included: aerobic capacity, Body Mass Index (BMI), muscle strength, endurance and flexibility.

Results showed:
- 20% of children's scores didn't fall in the healthy fitness ranges in ANY of the areas.
- 84% of kids passed some, but not all, portions of the test
- 16% passed all five parts

School officials in Thomas County say they're making changes to tackle the issue, which include revamping their lunch menu.

"We provide them with lots of fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains. We make sure the calories are met to provide them with healthy meals," said Katie Eidson, Director of School Nutrition for Thomas County Schools.

Parents, however, say they must be the change they want to see in their kids.

"The ball is in the parents' court," said Hopland. "It's our responsibility to make sure our kids are getting exercise, if it's not at school then it needs to be at home."

According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of children in Georgia are considered obese.


Despite an initiative to get kids fit … a new study shows four out of five in Georgia are not as healthy as they should be.

Nearly one million children were evaluated on five areas of health-related fitness using the FitnessGram, part of Georgia SHAPE, Gov. Nathan Deal's anti-childhood obesity initiative.

Tonight on Eyewitness News, hear what changes could be made at the local level to change the trend.

Tell us what you do to promote fitness in your family here on the site or on Twitter: @WCTV #fitkids


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