Mississippi is at the top – and that’s bad. For seven years in a row, Mississippi has been the most obese state in the nation. Childhood obesity is practically an epidemic across the country. Studies show obesity leads to medical complications and even shortens lives. This is sad for children and families. This raises the cost of insurance premiums; therefore, is expensive for all of us. However, with proper education, this is also preventable.
To address these problems, Mississippi passed the Healthy School Act in 2007, where health education is required to be taught in public schools for at least 45 minutes a week in grades K-8. Additionally, Mississippi has the state requirement of ½ Carnegie units for health education in high school.
That is just one of the reasons why Baptist is partnering with an exciting and effective education initiative called Baptist HealthTeacher to help change the unhealthy lifestyles of Mississippians, and provide a much needed resource for educators to use for their implementation plans. In addition to childhood obesity, other top health issues identified by educators in schools that are a focus of Baptist HealthTeacher are: Bullying (64 percent), Nutrition (63 percent), Social/Emotional Health (58 percent), Physical Activity (54 percent), Sexual Behavior (39 percent), and Alcohol/Other Drugs (35 percent).
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