Oklahoma kids are getting fatter, 20 percent of boys are overweight and the percentages for girls have doubled in the last two years. Now schools around the state are getting active in the fight against childhood obesity. Every school in state has to come up with a wellness plan by this summer.
News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims gives us the â€œskinnyâ€ on some kids in Broken Arrow, dancing their way to fitness.
A round and a round and a doe-see-doe, its some pretty fancy footwork for some 8-year-olds. Sometimes they were still mid-swing, when it was time to promenade. But their teacher says all that matters is they're moving. Vandever Elementary PE teacher Charles Brown: â€œits just another avenue for them to explore to be physically active just to get up and do something and dance can be with them for the rest of their life its just a good lifelong goal.â€
But not enough kids are getting active. The Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition reports on average kids spend five and a half hours a day sitting watching TV or video games. And that's contributing to the growing childhood obesity epidemic.
Teachers like Charles Brown are trying to help fight the battle of the bulge by making exercise fun and square dancing can be a workout. Charles Brown: "you get in here and you get to see these kids dancing and they going, man, I'm hot."
Mom Kellie Bassett: â€œI'm very impressed with this school system's idea because they're trying something different and fun to get them active."
The state is mandating that every school come up with a wellness plan to improve nutrition and fitness by July 1st. And state superintendent Sandy Garrett wants parents to get involved in creating those plans.
Brown wants to get parents on their feet too, inviting them to cut a rug with their kids. Charles Brown: "the parents are going to be dancing with us and hopefully if they see they can get up and get active with their kids its fun and if they get active with their kids here hopefully it will transpose home."
The Center for Disease Control says less than 30 percent of Oklahoma students have physical education every day. Vandever students average about 90 minutes of PE each week.