Childhood Obesity in Iowa – Links

Source: National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality

Iowa ranks 8 in overall prevalence with 26.5% of children considered either overweight or obese. That’s according to the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality.

Iowa kids are overweight and obese. So are kids from every other state in the United States. But that’s not the news about it. We know we have a problem, so how do we reverse the trend before we all end up with diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure?

That’s where Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Journal program comes in for your viewing and informing pleasure.

A little more background can be found here on a previous pre-show blog post.
Our panel included Tom Newton, the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Newton talked off-camera about efforts by IDPH employees. Some are now using standing desks and some sitting on exercise balls to help burn more calories and build core muscles while working.

Jim Hallihan of Live Healthy Iowa, The Iowa Sports Foundation and the Iowa Games was also on our panel. Hallihan was an assistant basketball coach at Iowa State University under Johnny Orr from 1982 to 1994. He coached new head Cyclone Fred Hoiberg during that time as well. Hallihan also wanted to mention Live Healthy Iowa Kids and how that impacts kids in this state.

Also on the panel was Brian Tate. He’s the Dean of Students at Des Moines North High School. Tate is a Hoover High alum and also coached football there after his before going to play at Simpson College. Tate was at Simpson from 1987-1989 which means he played under legendary coach Jim Williams at Simpson. That was after playing for some guy named Chet Culver, who was an assistant coach while Tate was a student and player at Hoover High.

Yes, the same Chet Culver that 3 republicans from Iowa want to unseat in the fall election. Terry Branstad, Rod Roberts and Bob Vander Plaats were at IPTV on Thursday for the final debate before the June 8th primary. You can watch that televised debate here sponsored by the Des Moines Register. If you want to compare to the last debate held by the Iowa Broadcast News Association, click here. The IBNA debate was held in Cedar Rapids on May 1.

Now back to Iowa kids. Tate and Hallihan are both members of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Nutrition.

Our discussion talked about serious this problem is now for our state and how it is everyone’s problem. It did take us 40 years to get here, but we need to continue to get kids in better shape, moderate their eating, changing eating habits and help families and communities better understand a healthy life.

Tate talked about how it takes a village to raise a child and the same approach needs to be used in fighting childhood obesity in Iowa and the nation.

You can view the entire program here. The show airs Friday at 630p on IPTV and Saturday morning at 830p on IPTV World.

Grundy Center, Iowa

Our discussion was set up by a visit to Grundy Center. We looked at the PE4Life program as it was shown to international visitors as part of the Global Forum For Physical Education. Rick Schupback was kind enough to spend some time with us to explain his, the administrators and the community’s role in teaching fitness for life and not just for the time during school. We also interviewed Shellie Pfohl, the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Pfohl had been to Grundy Center for a visit before. She’s a Dubuque native and also graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. UNI also has graduate students come to Grundy Center as part of the PE4Life. Those students use the PE4Life program to further their learning  of teaching physical education.

You can view the feature on Grundy Center here.

Newton said after the broadcast that another success story is in George, Iowa. They have a new recreation trail that was built to surround the town. It is paved and open for all. Newton said the peer pressure for everyone to take part in physical activity has been a huge positive for the community. This includes an 82-year-old man who recently got a bike and now rides around town quite often.

Hallihan added that there are good things going on in northeast Iowa as the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.

And a last discussion point off camera was the need for more community gardens to help grown fresh food to make them accessible to more people.

We closed the show with a clip from His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and his visit to Cedar Falls and UNI. You can see the clip here.

Again, the entire Iowa Journal program is here.
Enjoy and please share with your friends.

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