The skinny on schools: Kids fitter while in class

first_imgHe said the study seems to point to the need for parents to be more involved, as well as to raise the idea of a longer school year and more after-school programs to keep children active. And schools should continue their efforts to promote good health, he said. “Trying to improve the quality of school lunches, getting the soda machines out of schools – those are still good approaches. But clearly the sources of children’s obesity problems lie outside of the school,” Downey said. For the study, Indiana University and Ohio State researchers studied the growth rates of the body-mass indexes of 5,380 kindergartners and first-graders. The data came from a National Center for Education Statistics survey that ran from fall 1998 to spring 2000 in 310 schools across the country. The university sociologists discovered that the youngsters’ BMIs increased on average more than twice as much during summer break, compared with the school year. That increase was even greater among black and Hispanic students and kids who were overweight at the start of kindergarten. INDIANAPOLIS – The nation’s schools – under fire for unhealthy school lunches, well-stocked vending machines and physical-education cuts – might actually do a better job than parents in keeping children fit and trim. A study found that 5- and 6-year-olds gained more weight over the summer than during the school year, casting doubt on the assumption that kids are more active during summer vacation. The findings don’t reveal what’s behind the out-of-school weight gain, but the researchers speculate it’s because the summer months lack the structure of the school year with all its activities and daily comings and goings. Doug Downey, an Ohio State University sociologist who co-authored the study, said that for many youngsters, the lazy days of summer might offer plenty of free time to eat snacks and lounge about watching TV or playing video games. Once kids were back in school, however, the monthly growth rate of their BMIs fell, and the growth rate gap between the overall population and the minority and overweight groups shrank, the researchers found. The study will appear in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Betsy A. Keller, a professor of exercise and sport sciences at Ithaca College in New York, said the pattern seen in the study’s snapshot of the kids’ kindergarten year, summer break, and first grade is “irregular” and does not mesh with kids’ normal growth in height and weight. Keller said it clearly points to a summer gain in fat mass, although she said information from later school years is needed to see whether that trend continues. Overall, she said the findings point to the need for parents to become actively involved in encouraging their kids to develop healthy habits even as the push continues for schools to focus more on those same goals. “The big question in my mind is: What are the parents doing with these kids during the summer? Unless they’re paying attention to their child’s level of activity and diet, with each passing summer they’re just adding to the risk of them becoming overweight,” she said. “These are 5- and 6-year-olds, after all. So they’re not going to the grocery store – it’s their parents who are making these choices.” The study’s co-author, Brian Powell, a professor of sociology at Indiana University, said earlier studies have indicated that 5- and 6-year-olds with above-average BMI and BMI gains are at increased risk for adult obesity. Some 17 percent of U.S. youngsters already are obese, and millions more are overweight. Obese adults are at heightened risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other disorders. In recent years, criticism has been directed at schools for playing a role in that trend, leading nearly 20 states to enact some form of school nutrition legislation or to emphasize exercise goals. Nancy Chockley, president of the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, said the new research adds to the argument that parents must shoulder more of the responsibility for keeping their children in shape. Chockley said parents need to make time for regular family bike rides, walks, hikes or other types of exercise during the summer and beyond to help their kids develop good habits. “I don’t think this takes the heat off the schools. I think it spreads the heat around,” said Chockley, whose Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group researches health care issues. “We ask a lot from the schools, but the fact is that’s the easiest environment to reach the most children. Reaching the parents is much harder.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Los Osos transfers the power

first_img It showed. And when Rancho Cucamonga (4-2, 0-1) put more defenders in the box to slow the run, the pass was often wide open. Quarterback Mike Anderson completed 10-of-15 passes for 195 yards, while Hogan was also 2-for-2 on halfback passes, including a 25-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Ryan Carter. Rancho Cucamonga offensively had some success throwing the ball as Josh Fellhauer threw for 322 yards. But he completed only 17-of-36 passes, and the Cougars ran for only 67 yards. Los Osos jumped on top quickly, leading 10-0 after a quarter on a Chase 48-yard run and a Jared Gross 26-yard field goal. Rancho Cucamonga got its offense going in the second quarter and had a chance for some momentum going into the half. Los Osos led 24-14, but Rancho Cucamonga drove from its own 20 to the Grizzlies’ 37 in the final minute of the first half. But Fellhauer’s pass on fourth-and-2 fell incomplete with 34.1 seconds to play. In the second half, the Grizzlies kept Rancho Cucamonga at bay, but it the Cougars had a chance for a comeback, trailing 31-21 entering the fourth. That glimmer of hope didn’t last long. Hogan opened the fourth quarter with a 30-yard touchdown run. A shotgun snap went errantly by Fellhauer on Rancho Cucamonga’s next possession and the Grizzlies put the game out of reach with Hogan’s touchdown pass. “People said we haven’t played anyone, but we’re a pretty good team,” Martinez said. Only three of the transfers played for Rancho Cucamonga. Top recruit Devon Ross was “unavailable” according to Van Duin. He said it was not an injury and Van Duin said he is expected back next week. Of the other three, Deon Ford had the biggest impact, catching six passes for 133 yards. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In the first game between the schools since four players transferred from Los Osos to Rancho Cucamonga, Los Osos racked up 481 yards of total offense and routed Rancho Cucamonga 52-21, spoiling Rancho Cucamonga’s homecoming Friday night in a Baseline League opener at Chaffey College. “The kids did a great job. This was the best week of practice we’ve had,” a smiling Los Osos coach Tom Martinez said afterward. RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Transfers? Apparently Los Osos didn’t need them. center_img Martinez didn’t want to focus on the transfers, but when asked if it became a rallying cry for the players, he said, “I’m sure it did.” Rancho Cucamonga coach Chris Van Duin understood why the transfers might have motivated Los Osos. “It usually does,” he said. The players left behind at Los Osos (5-1 overall, 1-0 league) looked like they were pretty good, too. Running backs Jared Hogan (107 yards) and Mark Chase (87 yards) keyed a running attack that the Cougars had lots of trouble slowing down. “Our offensive line did a great job, and so did our two backs,” Martinez said. “We worked a lot on that.” last_img read more