New Program Fights Diabetes In Children

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

Healthcare professionals and school officials join forces to stop a growing problem in Harlan County.

They say more and more children are developing Type II Diabetes.

An effort to build healthy futures got off to a running start at Cumberland Elementary School.

"Exercise is very, very important and I learned that if you exercise it can keep you from getting diabetes," said Taylor Howard.

It's a disease health officials are seeing develop much earlier than before. Harlan ARH officials say that's why they reached out to schools and other county organizations to provide fitness and nutrition testing for third, fourth and fifth graders.

"We wanted to start very young. We wanted to start with an age group that we could make an impact with," said Mark Bell.

"Them being more consciencious will help them share with the adults in their family, with the people around them and hopefully a lot of people will become healthier for it and not just our kids here," said Principal Sheila Hall.

Organizers say the data collected here will be used by healthcare professionals and school officials so they can identify the needs of the children in their area and hopefully cut down on the number of them developing Type II Diabetes.

"That's the next step. What are we going to do with this information now that will help kids improve their health numbers?" said Bell.

The message is catching on.

"Don't eat as much junk food as I used to. Always eat right everyday and eat the kind of food in the food pyramid," said Blake Watts.

"Not sit on the couch and eat junk food, go outside and play and have fun outside," said Breanna Brown.

Organizers say it's a plan that will develop over time.

Organizers say they are planning an event like todays on a larger scale to include all elementary schools in the county.

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