- One of those problems is childhood obesity — a serious issue in Louisiana and the entire country.
- Overweight and obese children are at risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, depression, cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
Education is the answer. That’s why the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation developed Smart Bodies, a school-based program that teaches children in grades kindergarten through 5 about nutrition and fitness.
- This signature Foundation program, in partnership with the LSU AgCenter, integrates classroom activities with hands-on learning.
- Since it began in 2005, Smart Bodies has traveled to more than 330 schools, serving more than 100,000 students, in every parish across Louisiana.
Smart Bodies components
If children adopt a healthy lifestyle now, they’re less likely to become obese later in life. Smart Bodies has three parts that promote healthy lifestyles:
- Louisiana Body Walk. This walk-through replica of the human body invites children to explore the body’s functions and learn the effects that different foods have on each organ.
- OrganWise Guys. These fun characters appear in lessons, books, games and videos that help children understand how healthy behavior improves their bodies.
- Take 10! Classroom Program. This teacher-created tool incorporates 10-minute sessions of physical activity into academic lessons. The program is backed by the standards of the Louisiana Department of Education LEAP test, which combines physical activity with academic lessons.
Smart Bodies is working
- A two-year research study at 18 elementary schools shows that Smart Bodies works.
- Children who participated in the program were more likely to eat fruits and vegetables.
- They better understood the benefits of physical activity.
- Parents who reviewed body-mass-index (BMI) reports better understood their children’s weight and could help manage it.
For more information
Please contact the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation at 225.298.7979 firstname.lastname@example.org.