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Fit kids, fit communities

Through education and perspiration, OU-COM tackles the intricacies of childhood obesity

By Mary Reed
Photos by Kevin Riddell

Several kids, aged 12 to 17, stand in the dairy aisle of the Athens Kroger grocery store. Four kids grab a different half-gallon of milk: whole, two percent, one percent and skim. They read aloud nutrition labels to compare similarities (vitamins, mostly) and contrast fat content. Skim is pronounced the winner.

Andrew Wapner, D.O., assistant professor of pediatrics, points out that whole milk is packaged under the name “fortified milk.” “Every time you get smarter, [food corporations] try to get smarter than you,” he says, encouraging them to keep reading labels.

It’s week four of the eight-week Take Action program, OU-COM’s supervised intervention study to teach healthy diet and exercise habits to Athens County children diagnosed as overweight or obese—and their parents, who are in a separate group on the other side of the store. Participants meet twice a week for two-hour sessions, the first hour focusing on nutrition—food choices, nutrients, serving sizes—and the second on aerobic and anaerobic exercise at the Athens Community Center. continue

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College of Osteopathic Medicine
Grosvenor Hall | Athens, Ohio 45701
Tel: 1-800-345-1560
Last updated: 09/11/2009