Nutrition, physical fitness vital to overall student success

  • Published
  • By Mandy Sirmons
  • 78th Medical Group Disease Manager
School has started again in Houston County - and it's a busy time for parents and students alike.

As parents, we spend a lot of time and energy prepping our children to start the new school year off with good study habits and ensuring they have all the supplies they need to succeed. But one of the most important things that can ensure a successful school year is often over-looked ... our children's nutrition and physical fitness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has doubled in children and quadrupled in teens in the past 30 years. 

As of 2011, Georgia's obesity rate for 10- to17-year-old children is 16.5 percent per the State of Obesity Better Policies for a Healthier America. 

That increase in obesity is directly linked to increased sugar consumption and less physical activity.

Obese children are at higher risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, decreased quality of sleep, poor self-esteem and bullying.

The physical and emotional problems caused by obesity can significantly harm a child's educational and emotional success.

The good news is that, as parents, we can have an impact on our kids' success by helping to establish healthier habits in what our family eats and does together! 
Kids will repeat behaviors they see their parents and communities doing, including eating and fitness habits.

So, the start to a school year is the time to  look at habits your family currently has and find ways to improve what we eat and how active we are.

Parents have huge impact on the well-being and success of our children and teenagers.

Our kids will have a school year full of success and health when we help them learn healthy eating and physical fitness habits. So as your child learns to read or do algebra this school year, remember they will look to us as parents and a community to help teach them some other very important lessons as well.