Kiwanis speaker addresses childhood obesity

When Nurse Practitioner Stacey Markuson talked about the long-range consequences of childhood obesity at the Kiwanis Club’s weekly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 17, some of the parents present wondered where they had stored those battered metal Roy Rogers lunch boxes.
Markuson had referred to the Sparta Secondary Breakfast Menu Aug. 24-Sept. 20, which featured warm-up foods—  Pancakes on a Stick, Chocolate Filled Crescent Rolls, Pancake Donut Bites and Cinnamon Stuffed Pretzels—heavy on starch and sugar, light on fibre. 
But unhealthy eating isn’t the only factor that contributes to obesity in the young.  Lack of adequate physical activities, individually and collectively, in the home, school and community play a role. So, too, does a sense of family unity—adverse childhood experiences are “another piece of the puzzle.” And screen-time is a threat when not accompanied by an hour or more of outside activity.
The affect of childhood obesity is visible, socially and physically. A child suffering from obesity can have trouble breathing at night.  Moving a bigger body puts stress on joints and bones, causing hip and ankle pain, and, long-range, one can later be confronted with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Markuson encouraged making healthy choices in the household, dining together at a table, making water the drink-of-choice and getting adequate hours of sleep. She also pointed to community responsibilities—providing bike lanes and sidewalks, green spaces and parks and neighborhood night-lighting. She complimented the Kiwanis Lids for Kids program and hinted at a universal movement to require a tax on sodas.
The Sparta Kiwanis Club meets every Tuesday noon at Jake’s Northwoods for lunch and a brief program focussed on regional issues.   For more information contact Membership Chair Doug Dengel at 608-269-2939.

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