Editorial: Wellness center good for Navajo youth
"The state of health care for American Indians can be described as alarming at best. An Associated Press article back in March reported that health problems such as obesity and diabetes continue to plague the American Indian community, while access to medical care is dwindling.

Add to that rising levels of child obesity nationwide, and children on the Navajo Nation have quite a challenge ahead of them.

Someone must have told Acting Surgeon General Steven Galson.

Dr. Galson visited Tse' Bit' Ai Middle School in Shiprock last week to help open a new wellness center for the students of Central Consolidated Schools. The center is designed to help complement the schools' regular physical fitness program with alternative teen-friendly exercise devices.

Mainstays, such as Frisbees and bicycles, made an appearance, while newer machines such as the Nintendo Wii and the Dance Dance Revolution arcade game captured the children's imagination.

The surgeon general should be commended for recognizing the issue of child obesity and taking an active stance to help reduce it. Childhood obesity rates have tripled since the 1980s.

You don't need to be a doctor to know about the consequences unchecked weight gain can have, from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. A pre-emptive strike at a relatively simple health issue could save these children from a lifetime of issues, as well as the money needed to cover those issues."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Wellness center a positive step for children's health (The Farmington Daily Times 9/5)

Related Stories:
Surgeon General promotes health to Navajo youth (8/28)
Acting surgeon general heads to Navajo Nation (8/27)

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