Researchers with the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health are part of a statewide project aimed at evaluating and improving the health of South Carolina’s children by stressing the importance of physical activity.
A study released this week found that nearly 37 percent of the state’s K-12 students are obese or overweight and almost half of them do not meet health-related standards for heart and lung fitness.
Children’s Physical Activity Research Group Director Russ Pate told South Carolina Radio Network he analyzed the data. “Look at these figures and make the decision that it’s time for us to act to make the changes that will result in our kids being more active, healthier and fitter.”
The study also found children in poverty tend to have higher weight and worse health problems than those in higher income groups.
“I think we have a shared responsibility,” Pate continued. “There is no silver bullet, single solution to this problem.”
Pate said bad health in children now can often be a problem for them later in life. “Negative health consequences associated with low activity manifest later in life, but the origins are often are in childhood.”
The university is teaming up with the South Carolina Department of Education, the South Department of Health and Environmental Control and the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for the SC FitnessGram project.