ASCC/CNR hosts Healthy Living day
Close to 100 children from Aua and Leloaloa village turned out at Onesosopo Park this past Saturday for the Healthy Living Program sponsored by the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Community and Natural Resources (CNR) Division. The event included a one mile walk to start the activities.
“The Aua, Leloaloa side is one of the research sites under the Children’s Healthy Living Program and ASCC is one of the institutions included in the research, along with the University of Alaska, University of Hawaii, University of Guam, Northern Mariana College and the Federated States of Micronesia. The purpose of the program, is to try and reduce childhood obesity in the Pacific,” said Associate Director of ASCC/CNR Aufa’i Apulu Ropeti Areta.
He stated that they are in the second phase of the research project and they have completed the data collection and the measurements, and now they are into the intervention phase. Part of the intervention last Saturday was physical activity that included a one mile walk in Aua to the Onesosopo Park, where there were more physical activities including a zumba session and sports activities, along with nutrition information booths and food demonstrations.
“All of these activities are related to reducing childhood obesity and encouraging young children in the territory to be more active and to start eating and living more healthy. We are also trying to encourage them to consume more fruits and vegetables,” Areta explained.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website <www.cdc.gov> childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12-19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period. The website also stated that in 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Furthermore, the CDC notes that overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Overweight and Obesity are the result of caloric imbalance-too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed and are affected by various genetic, behavioral and environmental factor, according to the website.
In November of last year, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) website <www.cia.com> world fact book, had American Samoa ranked number one in the world with the rate of obesity. It says that 74.60% of the population in the territory is obese. It is followed by Tokelau at 63.40%, Tonga at 56.00%, Kiribati at 56.60% and Saudi Arabia at 35.60% to round out the top five. According to the website, the United States is ranked 6th at 33.60%.
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