Fitness Fair at Cumberland Elementary

Obesity is a big problem in Eastern Kentucky, and doctors are seeing it in people younger and younger.

The Harlan ARH Hospital is trying to reverse the trend, and they are starting early by holding a "fitness fair" today at Cumberland Elementary School.

"Our kids need to eat healthier and get more exercise. They need to get outside and do things. They need to join things or play sports or do something because a lot of them are just staying at home doing nothing," said Jenny Farmer of Cumberland Elementary.

Students learned their weight, their body mass index, and the right kinds of foods to eat.

Healthcare workers say the screenings are the first step in preventing a lifetime of obesity.

"When we recognize a kid has a high BMI, or has a significant body mass issue or doesn't exercise enough or doesn't eat right, then we can address those things and hopefully have an effect," said Mark Bell of Harlan ARH.

Educators at Cumberland Elementary say childhood obesity rates today are much worse than they used to be several years ago.

"I think because there's not as much for the kids to do and they're staying home and playing on these video games, watching TV. They're not introduced to healthy foods and they don't have things to do out in the community," said Farmer.

Those in the healthcare field say early-onset obesity, and the associated type-two diabetes, threatens the lives and well-being of young and old, but teachers at Cumberland are hopeful students learned how to make better diet and exercise choices.

Harlan ARH will be conducting fitness fairs at every Harlan County elementary school until October 2nd.

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