Nutrition and Child Obesity - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Nutrition and Child Obesity

Doug Rawlins, Principal of Rolling Hills Elementary Doug Rawlins, Principal of Rolling Hills Elementary
Kim Terry, Food Services Director for the River Road School District Kim Terry, Food Services Director for the River Road School District

The number of obese or overweight children in Texas has doubled over the last 20 years. The state implemented a new nutrition policy this year, hoping to bring those numbers down. NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg explains how it's working for them.

School nutritionists say while they struggle to change high school students' habits, they're finding success at the younger school levels. Age has everything to do with it. Younger students are more willing to try healthier foods, while high school kids have created bad habits they don't want to break. School officials say they are pleased with how the younger ones are adapting.

"It's in a lot of their conversation about how they're introduced to food it's cool to eat an apple, versus Hershey's or something of that nature," says Doug Rawlins, the Principal of Rolling Hills Elementary.

"On a day we have chicken nuggets and a salad, kids are choosing the salad, I went to see and even the smaller children are chowing down on lettuce and carrot sticks," says Kim Terry, the Food Services Director for the River Road School District.

Kids who bring their lunch set it on a shelf and Rawlins says just by looking at it you can tell more kids are eating cafeteria food because this use to be full.

"We used to serve 700 meals now we are serving up to 1000 meals every single day," says Rawlins.

The focus isn't just inside the cafeteria, it's out on the field, and in the gym.

Rolling Hills has increased their physical education classes from 45 minutes three times a week, to 35 minutes everyday.

"With lifelong sports, and activities our focus is just total physical awareness and physical wellness," says Rawlins.

Principal Rawlins uses bracelets to motivate kids to run. Every time they run five miles they receive a charm on a bracelet. He says it's all about incentive.

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