Category Archives: Stories that illustrate research

‘This Is a Public Health Emergency’ / One in four W.Va. 11-year-olds has high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity

“We’re seeing younger and younger people with type 2 diabetes and weight problems that put them at high risk of diabetes,” said Nidia Henderson, wellness director of the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Board. “The national obesity crisis is hitting West Virginia very hard.”

Thousands of W.Va. kids are headed for diabetes

Jenni, a rural obese teen with high blood pressure and cholesterol, gets a full medical screening at a university clinic, then goes back home to no services, no community physical acivity. As 18 percent of West Virginia kindergartners arrive at school obese, West Virginia children are sending up clear red flags of future diabetes and heart disease.

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Children at risk identified, but who follows up?

Since 1998, West Virginia University’s CARDIAC program  has identified thousands of West Virginia fifth-graders with very high blood pressure, risky cholesterol and obesity – early warning signs of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke – but no state agency has ever followed up on those children.

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What happened? When / how / why did W.Va. pack on the pounds? / A look back in history.

At the turn of the 20th century, West Virginians were described as a lean ‘stomachless’ people. Now West Virginia leads the nation in obesity and diabetes. What changed? And what can we do?

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“Get kids moving however we can”

To battle obesity and improve students’ ability to concentrate, West Virginia Schools Superintendent Jorea Marple is campaigning for more minutes of physical activity in every child’s day.

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Rocking the gym at 7:30 AM. Wood school gets kids fit before they sit.

Before students at a Wood County West Virginia elementary school ever hit the books, they hit the gym for a half hour of physical activity, waking them up and getting them ready to learn.

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Nebraska school district slims kids by 13 percent / Can West Virginia schools do it too?

Starting in 2005, within five years a Nebraska school chopped the obesity rate of its grade school students by a stunning 13 percent. How did they do it?

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