Healthy Students Initiative Tackles Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is alarmingly high, in Shasta County and all over the nation. A study released last week showed that one in three Shasta County children is overweight.

It’s no secret that people need nutritious foods and daily exercise to be healthy – but in today’s busy world, many of us feel forced to choose convenience over nutrition.

That’s why we’re so proud of our contribution to the Healthy Students Initiative, a seven-year Healthy Shasta project that is making remarkable strides to address childhood obesity.

Lassen View, Cypress and Bella Vista schools are working hard to create healthier campuses full of well-fueled brains. They’re incorporating healthy choices into classroom parties and sharing health information in their newsletters. Some have moved recess to before lunch, so children play first, then sit down and finish those fruits and vegetables instead of taking a few bites and then racing right out onto the playground.

This video shows some of the innovative changes that Lassen View School has adopted. Maybe one of these ideas would work well at your child’s or your neighborhood’s school – sometimes it just takes one champion to make big changes.

My family, like many of yours, is always buzzing with activity – work, school, sports, etc. – and let’s face it, it can be a challenge to put together a nutritious meal at the end of a long day. How do you incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your busy life?

Donnell Ewert, MPH, is director of Shasta County Public Health. While at Wheaton College, he participated in the Human Needs and Global Resources program, which included a seven-month internship in Honduras – an experience that sparked his interest in public health. He earned his master’s degree from UCLA after evaluating a program that used goats to increase the nutritional intake of malnourished children. He worked briefly as a health educator with migrant farm workers in Virginia before becoming an epidemiologist for the health departments in Los Angeles and the state of Indiana. Donnell came to Shasta County Public Health as an epidemiologist in 1999, after doing humanitarian health work in Kazakhstan. He has been the department director since 2007. He and his wife, Mary, have two teenage daughters.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

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, MPH, is director of Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. While at Wheaton College, he participated in a Human Needs and Global Resources program, which included a seven-month internship in Honduras – an experience that sparked his interest in public health. He worked briefly as a health educator with migrant farm workers in Virginia before becoming an epidemiologist in Los Angeles and Indiana. He came to Shasta County Public Health as an epidemiologist in 1999, and became HHSA Director in November 2012. He and his wife, Mary, have two daughters.
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