Students and staff of The St Michael School took to the streets today to advocate for Childhood Obesity Prevention.
Wearing games clothes, sneakers and holding placards in hand, over 800 students walked through the environs of the Martindale’s Road, St Michael institution, to bring awareness to childhood obesity, an issue that has been the centre of national discussion in recent years due to discouraging statistics.
Principal Yvette Mayers said that while today marked World Obesity Day, St Michael was one of the model schools appointed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to work in the campaign against obesity.
“We felt that we should go through the community to share some information on health and to make a statement. The first time we had a walk for health in 2016, we had only about half the school participate. And we had so much fun on the road that those children came back and shared their experiences with others.
“So this morning, only about 30 persons said they don’t want to walk. But our students are always motivated to get involved with what is going on in the school. So I am very pleased with the response from our students,” Mayers said.
The principal noted that the school’s management has been making several necessary decisions to motivate and encourage students to live healthier lifestyles. She said since the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, St Michael has not been selling carbonated beverages to students.
“We have taken the plunge to take the carbonated beverages out of the school. Our focus since 2015 has been on water. We are encouraging our students to use more water and so a large majority of our students are accustomed to sipping water throughout the day from the time they enter the school. There are some students that the only thing you see them drinking is water,” Mayers said.
Throughout the day, the students participated in healthy activities and exercise sessions, including Zumba. There was also a health exhibition where the students were encouraged to learn more about healthy foods and products, and also have various health checks. (AH)