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Zoneton students trying to improve on fitness, nutrition

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By Alex Wimsatt

    ZONETON - Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show that Kentucky may need to shed a few pounds.

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    In 2009 Kentucky had the fourth highest obesity rate in America with 31.5 percent of Kentuckians overweight, according to the CDC. Only Mississippi, Louisiana  and Tennessee had higher obesity rates.

    To help improve these statistics and to encourage students and their families to live healthier lives, Zoneton Middle School recently hosted a Family Nutrition and Fitness Fair in the school’s cafeteria, where participants had the opportunity to gain tips and tools for better living.

    The Bullitt County Cooperative Extension Service was on hand sharing information for healthy eating and ideas for preparing nutritional family meals, offering tips like how to feed a family for under $5.

    Other informational stations sharing useful information included Zoneton’s Parent Teacher Student Organization, the Bullitt County Health Department, the Y, the Kentucky Parent Information Resource Center and Pennyrile Allied Community Services.

    Participants also had the opportunity to get moving with activities like bean bag toss, jump rope, walking a balance beam, hula hoop, a ring maze and a cotton ball race.

    KPIRC Regional Coordinator Coleda Tackett said the event was to encourage parent participation in school activities as well as promoting nutrition and fitness.

    “It’s about getting together and having fun with fitness,” she said.

Some interesting facts

    This information is from the CDC website, www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

    During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States.

    In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent.

    Thirty-three states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25 percent; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30 percent.

    Wide sections of the Southeast, Appalachia, and some tribal lands in the West and Northern Plains have the nation’s highest rates of obesity and diabetes.

    In many counties in those regions, rates of diagnosed diabetes exceed 10 percent and obesity prevalence is more than 30 percent.

    Eighty-one percent of counties in the Appalachian region that includes Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia have high rates of diabetes and obesity.

    So do three-quarters of counties in the southern region that includes Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.