Town Meeting Addresses Obesity Epidemic


The documentary, Weight of the Nation, net the stage for tonight's town meeting at Bowling Green Junior High.

"I think you have to have a starting point, and sometimes it takes information being put in front of us to initiate that change, and for everyone to really feel like this is something we need to address," said Bowling Green Independent Schools Superintendent Joe Tinius.

Educators, doctors and dietitians weighed in on what they say is becoming an epidemic.

"We are unfortunately well known for our obesity and our overweight problems in Kentucky, so I'm going to talk about three key factors I think are problems in our state, and ways I think we can address them," said the Medical Center Community Dietitian Linda Howsen.

Howsen says those factors are cutting back on portion sizes, being active, and eliminating sugary beverages from our diets. One pediatrician on tonight's panel has a similar approach.

"It's a program called 5-2-1-0. Five stands for five servings of vegetables and fruit a day, less than two hours of screen time a day, including tv and computer time, one hour of exercise, and zero stands for no concentrated sweet beverages," said Graves Gilbert Clinic Pediatrician Debra Sowell.

Tinius says it's never too early to teach these methods, and says one way Bowling Green schools send that message is having fresh fruit and vegetables in their cafeterias daily.

"We think the fact that they're fresh and they come quite often from local farmers and orchards, that helps us," said Tinius.
Bowling Green Independent Schools currently use six local farms to provide students with fresh produce.

Tinius says the push for more produce in schools has increased over the past few years after congress changed federal regulations on providing fresh fruits and vegetables in schools. For more information on how you can fight obesity, see the related links below.


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