A team from Calloway County’s Obesity Workgroup is participating in a Centers for Disease Control-funded national conference this spring to improve their project targeting childhood obesity.
The four-person team created the ‘Healthy Kids, Health Lives’ project to educate local elementary students on processed food. Team member Susan Burkeen said the program focuses on students’ food preferences rather than the healthiness of public school lunches.
“I have a child in the second grade and I know there are certain days that she wants to bring her lunch because she doesn’t like the two options that are available to her. So I think that we’re offering them some of what they want to eat, but we’re also trying to teach them what’s the best choice,” Burkeen said.
Burkeen said 18 percent of Kentucky adolescents and 17.5 percent of Calloway County children between the ages of two and four are considered obese. According to a 2016 State of Obesity report, Kentucky ranks third in high school obesity. Calloway is one of five teams to receive a grant to the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health conference in Atlanta in April.