I blame no one for my daughter’s death, but looking back I recognize that there were opportunities for the teachers, coaches and family members to intervene and possibly save her.
When the Chula Vista Elementary School District south of San Diego surveyed the physical condition of the 25,000 students enrolled in 2010, the results were worrisome. About 40 percent of the kids were at an unhealthy weight – with the highest rates among fifth and sixth graders.
It isn’t always easy to find a drink of water at school. Unfortunately, this is a comment we hear a lot when we talk to children about the health benefits of drinking water instead of sugary, high-calorie drinks. Such a refrain is obviously a concern for a network of nutrition professionals, so this year we set out to learn more about the water situation in schools, how it shapes children’s drinking habits and water’s role in the fight against obesity. We found that water sources on North Coast campuses are sometimes limited to dirty or poorly functioning drinking fountains or water that sells for as much as $1 a bottle. Kids told us the scarcity of appealing or free drinking water at school makes it difficult to follow a key message of our “ReThink Your Drink” lessons, which is to choose water over sugar-sweetened drinks.