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St. Louis Post-Dispatch: School is place for children to learn healthy eating habits


Letter: School is place for children to learn healthy eating habits

By Thomas Loughrey
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Letter to the Editor



Regarding “Despite one big success, Missouri’s ambitious effort to stem childhood obesity fell short. Here’s why.” (Sept. 25): When considering health data, it is clear that obesity is a threatening risk factor while healthy eating and physical activity are possible protective factors.

A grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was used by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create a Missouri Healthy Schools project, involving Ritenour, Jennings, University City, Farmington and Bayless school districts. This grant is funding the implementation of a model focusing on school and community policies and programs to enhance the health culture of districts and communities.

At University City’s Brittany Woods Middle School, the school garden offers opportunities to grow food products, tend to the chickens in the courtyard and harvest honey from the apiary. Bayless, Farmington and Kennett schools have highly functioning wellness councils that promote health-enhancing policies and programs.

Quality health and physical education programs, school food services and the school culture benefit students’ health. Schools are where students can be effectively educated and assisted in the development of lifelong healthy living behaviors. It takes the entire community to bring progress.