Childhood Obesity Closer to Home Than Expected
The recent visit to Newark made by First Lady Michelle Obama to promote her
”Let’s Move!” campaign has drawn much needed attention to the childhood obesity
crisis sweeping the nation. In fact, recent studies by the Center for Health
State Policy has found that approximately 43% of boys and 45% of girls in the
Newark City School District alone are obese.
“Alarmingly, the percent of overweight children is growing rapidly with 1 out
of 5 considered to be obese,” said Dr. Denise Rizzolo, faculty member in the
Physicians Assistant program at Seton Hall School of Health and Medical
Services. “ While many student realize that being overweight is bad, they don’t
know how to avoid it.”
Dr. Rizzolo has conducted extensive community enhancement projects within the
American Academy of Physician Assistants with the principal goal of helping
grammar school students understand obesity and the consequences of it through
interactive learning activities.
“There is a high likelihood of obese children becoming obese adults,”
explained Dr. Rizzolo. “Understanding obesity and its related effects along with
establishing good eating and exercise practices at a young age will help
children develop a lifelong commitment to healthy living.”
Outreach programs such as the “Let’s Move!” campaign and those conducted by
Dr. Rizzolo on childhood obesity are becoming more and more critical as the
nation’s overal health detiroates.
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