Recent study shows that while most Idaho third graders are at a healthy weight, the percentage of overweight or obese kids is increasing
According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, a recent assessment says the majority of Idaho’s third graders are at a healthy weight, but the percentage of students who are overweight or obese continues to increase.
"This spring, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare worked with the public health districts to conduct the Idaho 3rd Grade Body Mass Index (BMI) Assessment," said Niki Forbing-Orr with the Dept. of Health and Welfare. "The BMI assessment measured a representative sampling (2,102) of the state’s third grade students’ height and weight to determine whether they were underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese based on their age at the time of the assessment and their gender. Compared to a similar 3rd grade BMI assessment conducted in 2008, the percentage of obese 3rd graders increased from 12.8 percent in 2008 to 14.6 percent in 2012."
According to Forbing-Orr, the assement showed that 69 percent of the students are at a healthy weight, 15 percent are overweight, and 15 percent are obese. A very small percentage, 2 percent, were considered underweight. Male students were slightly more likely than female students to be categorized as obese.
“We’d like to help parents and their children learn that less screen time, and more healthy snacks, meals and daily exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle,” said Angela Gribble, Idaho physical activity and nutrition program manager.
Public health officials are encouraging parents to help children get at least an hour of physical activity a day and to limit their time on computers and in front of TVs.