Is Lubbock Making Children Fat? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/19/07

Is Lubbock Making Children Fat?

Lubbock may be contributing to childhood obesity according to the latest study featured in Men's Health magazine.  In its October issue, the magazine ranks 100 cities for the title of either the Fittest or Fattest Cities for Kids.  Lubbock ranks number 99 on that list, with Cheyenne, Wyoming named as the fattest for children.

It's definitely not a title any city wants to maintain, and as NewsChannel 11 found out, Lubbock is already taking steps to stop this trend.  

The study took several factors into account, including physical education requirements, adult fitness, sports camps, and fast food restaurants.  The magazine says it gave them a clear picture of where children aren't growing up, but growing out. So, we decided to take a closer look.

Chubby, chunky, fat, they're not flattering words especially when they're associated with your children and your city, but is Lubbock really making children fat?

"I was a little surprised to see the article," Bodyworks Family Sports Center Youth Fitness Director Lana Snyder said.

Snyder has completed childhood obesity studies herself.

"Right now, with the epidemic of childhood obesity, my generation, your generation, we will live longer than what our children will," Snyder said. 

The Men's Health study started at the state level, checking where nutrition and physical-activity programs have been implemented, and state physical-education standards.  Lubbock schools use the C.A.T.C.H. Program, or Coordinated Approach To Children's Health.

"Everyone's involved, the P.E. teacher for the physical activity, the cafeteria.  They're cooking their food a lot better, no more frying, no more butter, the community. We try to get word out to the parents to also teach their kids how to eat, also the classroom teachers," LISD Lead Elementary P.E. Teacher Pam Pierce said. 

The study also used information on the number of sports camps and fast food restaurants competing for children's waistlines.

"Our fast food industry is really starting to offer some great things, however it's up to families to get them to understand what they should order," Snyder said. 

She says the study was based more on the child's environment and not their total environment.

"So regardless of what we offer in the community, regardless of what we put on our menus at fast food restaurants, and regardless of the programs we have here at Bodyworks, what they're learning at home is huge," Snyder said. 

The best way to teach your children, according to the experts, is to go out and play along with them; it will help them, and you stay fit.

Men's Health ranked Seattle, New York and Cincinnati as the fittest cities for kids.  

Lubbock wasn't the only Texas city on the bottom half of the list either.  Arlington, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi and El Paso were also ranked as being among some of the fattest cities.

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