of Fat Children
May 27, 2003
By Maxy Sosa
The youth population of New York occupies first place on the list
of obesity on a national level, and this distinction
is producing bitterness among many politicians.
Some medical investigators assure that the situation is so critical,
it gets to have epidemic status, generating great expenses
in health insurance, already paid for by the families of the children,
or by Medicare or Medicaid.
The finger is being pointed at public schools where, according
to the Assemblyman for Brooklyn Félix Ortiz, students
are not being provided with the nutritional education necessary
to live a healthy life, physical education programs are not being
implemented with due frequency, and students are allowed to use
vending machines which sell foods lacking in nutritious value.
This past March the State Assembly approved a project proposed
by Ortiz that looks to amend the public law on the prevention
of infantile obesity and that will include media campaigns
to promote health, which will be directed at children, adolescents,
parents of families, and those who work in childcare.
The solution to the problem, according to those who have dedicated
themselves in the field, could add to the number of hours that schools
dedicate to the physical fitness of the students. It is for this
that legislators advise that children participate more in games
like basketball, volleyball and baseball, in addition to spending
more time swimming and running.
What are the benefits of so much exercise? Improving the academic
performance of the children, and eliminating or reducing the possibility
of suffering from obesity, stresses Ortiz in the legislative document.
Assemblyman Ortiz law proposes daily exercise programs for
students until the eighth grade, simultaneously giving students
a healthy mind in a healthy body that increases self-esteem.
If all the previous information does not convince on the necessity
of children to exercise and watch what they eat, one should know
that medical researchers assure that obese children are prone to
suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems when
they grow up.
Our schools are places where children should learn to live
a healthy life, free of junk food, emphasizes Assemblyman
Félix Ortiz in a press release on the topic.
Translated from Spanish by Charlotte Triggs
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