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Letters to the Editor

Tue., March 6, 2012

Reversing teen obesity

“Healthy Enthusiasm” (Feb. 24) was appropriately titled regarding Kootenai Medical Center’s teen health and fitness study. Volunteers are lining up, eager to test an idea by Shawn Burke and Pamela Owen (co-owners of Post Falls U Aim High Fitness and Nutrition). They propose to bring a web-based gadget, bodybugg, to schools for daily feedback on diet and fitness targets. Still unknown is how this product will keep teens on a lifelong healthy path.

It will take a societal effort to reverse the damage done by fast food, video games and unhealthy choices that have become childhood norms. North Idaho College faculty and nursing students recognize that information is the first step. They assisted study recruitment by performing body-mass index screenings at Lake City High School. The vast majority of overweight students (97 percent) wanted to join the study. Twenty will have the chance.

Commitment from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health (our grantor), Coeur d’Alene School District, and University of Idaho and Washington State University researchers have made it possible to study this idea. Solutions are needed for the 12.5 million overweight U.S. children who are headed for significant health problems. Let’s hope we can find some answers.

Marian Wilson, MPH, RN

Coeur d’Alene

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