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Combating health problems with education

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By Kirsten Laskey

As a middle school student, P.E. was never a real highlight and at lunchtime I was always hopeful that my friends would share their cartons of fries. Looking back at this period of time, I wonder what in the world I was thinking.

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Luckily for today’s fifth grade students from the Los Alamos Public Schools, the Los Alamos Cooperative Extension office is helping them brush away bad health habits.

On Sept. 29, the extension office hosted Just Be It! Healthy and Fit at the First Baptist Church.

About 270 students received hands-on tutorial on everything from a healthy diet to exercise.

Paula Roybal-Sanchez, extension home economist, explained the purpose behind the program was to combat the childhood obesity issue that is plaguing the country.

She added by providing prevention education through a series of workshops, the hope is that students will not be affected by health problems.

In addition to the field trip to the church, exercise kits were distributed to classes “so they can be more active,” Roybal-Sanchez said.

The program is funded by a grant from the Children, Youth and Families at Risk program that is operated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The effort to keep students healthy will continue. Roybal-Sanchez said twice a month the extension office will provide in-depth education in some of the classrooms at Mountain, Barranca, Chamisa and Aspen Elementary Schools.