BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — In Louisiana, almost 30 percent of children are overweight or obese. On a national scale, childhood obesity has tripled since 1980- according to the U.S. Surgeon Generals' report.
And now Buchanan elementary is one of four schools in east Baton Rouge that is involved with project fit America. It's a nationwide program that’s been helping young kids for over twenty years, and now it’s finally in Baton Rouge. With funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield and part of the mayor’s Healthy City Initiative- Project Fit America will now help kids learn about fitness and nutrition at an early age.
“So you can stay active and not get fat,” said Corbin Cherry who is a student at Buchanan Elementary. Corbin Cherry and his classmates will now not only have their normal PE classes, but additional lessons about fitness and health, thanks to get fit America.
“Project Fit America program actually provides the students with the building blocks to fitness so in the future they can make better choices in life inching physical activity as long as the food that they eat so they will live longer and stay healthy,” says Raianne yglesias, a dance teacher at Buchanan.
The kids now have specialized gym equipotent to show them how to exercise and lessons about why it’s so important.
Kentrell plain is the PE teacher at Buchanan and he says, “They see something different, its better that they can go outside and see something that they can play on ands jump on and there not just doing regular activities.”
‘The equipment is specific to different aerobic activities its not just basketball or ballet its gears toward cardiovascular and musicale endurance,” says Yglesias.
And the kids seemed to catch on quick, and are eager to learn. “Today I went on the Project Fit America equipment back there it was fun and i love playing on it because it helped me get fit and active and it built up my muscles,” sais Jack Desport.
And the kids use motivation for the future to get fit now and stay fit for the future. Cherry want to be a professional basketball player and he knows exactly why it’s important to be healthy. “So you won’t have to be sitting on the sideline or you wont be or you can run up and down the court,” said Cherry.
The other schools taking part of the get fit program are Baton Rouge Foreign Language Immersion Magnet, Winbourne, and Ryan elementary schools. The program is part of the fresh beginnings grant, received by the mayor's healthy city initiative from the Blue Cross and blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and its challenge for a healthier Louisiana.
So now along with thousands of children across America, Baton Rouge Elementary students will be learning the tools they need to help fight obesity and live longer lives.