|McCabe Sellers, Beverly|
|Yadrick, Kathy - UNIV SO MISSISSIPPI|
|Strikland, Earline - DELTA NIRI|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 6, 2008
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: One in three children in Mississippi have weights that increase their risks for early onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, arthritis, and consequently early disability and death. Children in school today are projected to be the first generation of Americans to die at an earlier age than their parents' generation. Many factors have contributed to this 'obesity epidemic', and multiple strategies are needed to counter its impact. A collaboration of Agricultural Research Service and six universities has led to research studies in Washington County, MS, and Phillips County, AR, that have addressed two critical elements in schools, summer day camps, and after-school programs. Major efforts have focused on providing children 1) exposure to new fruits and vegetables to promote willingness to try new foods and healthier diets and 2) encouraging physical activities that are fun and avoid having to be a 'winner'. These efforts combined with the promotion of improved literacy skills can lead to a better economic future and reduce the health burdens associated with poverty. Multiple components efforts are needed for longer and healthier lives for the current and future generations of school children in the Delta. All communities need to become involved in health promotion of their youth.