Childhood Obesity

High School Journalists Find No Regulation of Sugar in School Breakfast

Jan 2, 2019
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**This story is part of a youth reporting project between the Fayette Institute of Technology and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. It was written by high school seniors Katie Cameron and Tabitha Gill with support from health reporter Kara Lofton.**

 

A lot of research says  sugar is bad for us, but federal nutritional standards for school meals don’t regulate sugar consumption. And this means some elementary school students in West Virginia are eating a lot of it -- especially for breakfast.

 

 

Kyle Mandler

West Virginia's youth obesity rates have soared over the years, and a new report found that more than 35 percent of teens here are overweight or obese. A new statewide youth development organization is trying to address the problem, and teach resilience, by encouraging kids to enjoy their native hills -- on a mountain bike.

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A new study has found that childhood weight gain may have a negative impact on liver health in children as young as eight.

The study found that bigger waist circumference at age 3, raises the likelihood that by age 8, children will have markers for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver and triggers inflammation, causing liver damage. It’s the most common chronic liver condition in children and adolescents.

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 The University of Texas Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital released a study this month showing that diet and exercise may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Healthy eating is already encouraged during treatment but diet plans are uncommon. When it comes to physical activity, the study says, doctors are cautious when suggesting an exercise routine.

obesity
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Obesity rates among West Virginia children in low-income families have increased by 2 percent from 2010 to 2014.

West Virginia's obesity rate among young children from low-income families increased from 14.4 percent in 2010 to 16.4 percent in 2014, according to the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

What happens to a community as coal jobs go away? Here are some things you might expect: many people leave, schools empty, local businesses struggle to keep their lights on. But here’s something that may not come to mind: extra curricular sports go away.

That’s what happened to children in McDowell County over 25 years ago. They lost their local soccer league. And while the thousands of lost coal jobs may not come back, thanks to a 4-H project, and about a dozen volunteers, soccer is making a comeback in McDowell County.

obesity
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  New government data shows that in most states, the rate of adult obesity is not moving.

Results from a telephone survey show obesity rates stayed about the same in 45 states last year. There were small increases in Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah.

Kidz Bite Back Promotes Healthy Eating

Nov 19, 2014

A new healthy kids initiative is coming to West Virginia.  Kidz Bite Back - a kid-created, kid-led, kid-spread campaign to educate West Virginia on the basics of living healthy kicks of Friday.

Taking lessons-learned from West Virginia's successful teen tobacco prevention campaign called "Raze" that includes peer-to-peer communication, Kids Bite Back is based on the same premise.  

Try This: Building Healthier Communities

Jun 4, 2014
Kate Long
Gail Hatton

For years now, we've reported on the state's many health issues.  We've done stories about childhood obesity, the prevalence of heart disease and diabetes.  This morning, we'll learn what many communities and the citizens who live in them are doing to make it better.  This Friday and Saturday, these communities will come together to share what works at the first Try This conference at West Virginia Wesleyan College.  Kate Long is among those organizing this gathering which began as a result of a series of stories she wrote for The Charleston Gazette.

Huntington
wvfunnyman / wikimedia Commons

  Three schools in Huntington are participating in a national childhood obesity awareness campaign.

The campaign kicks off Monday at Highlawn Elementary School. It will begin May 23 at Guyandotte Elementary School and May 27 at Altizer Elementary School.

Forty other schools across the nation have committed to participating in the campaign.

Chuck Frostick

The Senate recently passed the “Move to Improve Act” which could change the daily grind in state classrooms. The bill is in response to the Healthy Lifestyles Act, which was passed by the legislature in 2005 without a mechanism to assure implementation. Lawmakers say they’re trying to address an epidemic of childhood obesity in West Virginia. 

Children and teens spend more than half of their waking hours at school.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

The West Virginia Senate has passed legislation requiring physical activity for students.
 
Under the Move to Improve Act, elementary school students must participate in 30 minutes of physical education three days a week.

WV Legislature

With the Success of the Feed to Achieve Act last year, Senate Majority Leader John Unger is now looking to take on childhood obesity with new legislation. He introduced the Move to Improve Act into the Senate Thursday.

“Move to Improve goes into our middle schools and our elementary schools and really tries to instill in our students the importance of good nutrition and physical activity,” Unger said.

Children participating in a new program called Kids in Motion
Clark Davis

Ashton Marra reports on the potential implications of the Parkways Authority being absorbed by the  Division of Highways, Glynis Board has more on new horizontal drilling studies, and Clark Davis on a new program in Huntington to fight childhood obesity.

Is obesity related to genetics?

Oct 3, 2013

Childhood obesity could be related to the absence of one particular hormone according to research presented this week during a conference in Huntington.

  Losing weight is as simple as having more self-control. At least that’s what some think. A new study though shows that maybe it’s not that simple, maybe obesity is tied to a hormone called Leptin. And when people don’t have enough of it in their system, their body tells them to eat more.