“It’s not just for the kids,” Shelton said. “It’s for anyone in the community who wants to wants to get involved their health.”
The health fair will held Monday, Feb. 26 in the primary/intermediate gym from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Twenty-eight organizations related to health or safety will have booths there and their displays will be aimed at both children and their parents. The groups will include Pennyrile Allied Community Services, DARE, the Trigg County chapter of the American Red Cross and many others.
Shelton said the health fair was the idea of the schools’ wellness committees, which started this year. The committees were formed by the schools’ site-based decision-making councils and were encouraged by the Kentucky Delta Access Project, which helped Shelton plan the event. Shelton said that there have been many changes to nutritional guidelines in Kentucky schools over the last few years, and that the health fair should be a good way to “get parents on board” in taking an active role in the children’s health. She said that if parents show an active interest in exercise and eating right, the students might follow.
“We want (the children) to see that, as adults, we are interested in physical activity,” Shelton said.
Shelton cited several statistics complied by the Delta Access Project that show why interest in a healthy lifestyle is urgent.
* 65 percent of American adults are overweight or obese.
*119 million Americans are at risk for diabetes, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, sleep apnea and several types of cancer.
* $93 billion is spent on medical costs due to obesity-related illnesses in the United States each year.
* Obesity is the second leading cause of death in Kentucky after tobacco use.
* Kentucky is fifth “heaviest” state in the country.
* 38.5 percent of Kentuckians are overweight and 26.7 percent are obese.
* Childhood obesity rates have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. In 1980, the American obesity rate was five percent, but it rose to 17 percent by 2004.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.