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Addressing Childhood Obesity

Why childhood obesity is such a huge and growing problem

Typical lunch beverages for kids can range from juice boxes to soda. But for Angie Clark's first grade class of 20, a field trip to the local grocery store inspired her students to make a healthier choice by drinking white milk.

Clark took her students to the Lowes Foods grocery store in Siler City, North Carolina for an educational field trip to introduce them to experience-based lessons on nutrition and healthy eating.

"After the field trip, I made it a challenge to see how many kids could drink white milk," Clark says. "I had six students drink white milk at lunch the day of the field trip when I normally only had one or two."

Clark is just one of the many teachers who agree that experience-based learning has a positive impact on children. Surveys completed by Field Trip Factory - a company that provides free educational field trips in the community - reveal that nutrition education field trips aid in children's understanding of leading healthy lifestyles.

Eighty-five percent of teachers surveyed stated that their students are more aware of healthier food choices after taking a nutrition education field trip. Another 84 percent believe their students are more aware of why it is important to be healthy and fit and have gained a better understanding of nutrition.

The United States Surgeon General has stated that 25 percent of America's children are overweight or obese, encouraging educators and companies to take the responsibility of relaying nutritional lessons to our youth.

Grocers have recognized the need for nutrition education among youth-based groups through in-store, experience-based field trips. These trips teach children the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle by providing them with lessons pertaining to meal choices, food groups and fitness.

"I think healthy eating is an area that needs more in-depth instruction in our curriculum," Clark says. "While they are at school, we have to teach them these healthy choices, especially to address obesity.

Field Trip Factory anticipates over 12,000 nutrition education field trips will be taken to local grocers during the 2010-2011 school year at the following locations:

  • A & P
  • Albertsons 
  • Copps 
  • Dominick's 
  • Fry's 
  • Giant Eagle 
  • H-E-B 
  • Lowes Foods 
  • Pick'n Save 
  • Rainbow Foods 
  • SaveRite 
  • Shaw's 
  • Star Market 
  • Strack & Van Til 
  • Town & Country 
  • Ultra Foods 
  • Waldbaum's 
  • Wild Oats 
  • Winn-Dixie 

Article courtesy of The Field Trip Factory.

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