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Southern Idaho 3rd Graders Are In Good Shape

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) A newly released study shows that most third graders in South Central Idaho have a healthy weight. But the question is will they stay healthy as they grow up?

South Central Public Health District weighed and measured almost 400 third graders at six randomly selected schools in Magic Valley.

The good news is that two thirds of third grade students in the area surveyed were at an ideal weight. But 32 percent were overweight or obese, while only two percent were underweight. At Lincoln Elementary School in Twin Falls, they introduce their students to a variety of fruits and vegetables in the lunchroom.

Lincoln Elementary School Vice Principal Angela Hild says, "We also have had them try really unusual things. I can't even remember the name of this one that looked like an eyeball. The students tried it and they thought it was the neatest thing in the world. It kind of looked like a sea urchin on the outside."

The survey results in Magic Valley are very similar to the rest of the Gem State. Here in South Central Idaho, 17 percent of third graders are overweight, while almost 15 percent are obese.

Hild says, "As students get older, they go get sedentary. They don't run around just for the joy of running like we see these younger children do. That's so much more important as they get to be in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade, that they start becoming involved in actual activities."

Hild says those include physical activities like soccer, basketball, swimming, and running. She says the school's goal is to help the students and their families add healthy foods like oatmeal into their eating habits now.

Hild says, "Or a Kinect where they go to be in motion during their recess time when it was cold or the weather was so inclement they couldn't go out."

Dec. 12, 2012.


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