Home
About
Agencies
Agency RSS
Agency
Listservs
Archives
Multimedia
Subscribe
Contact

Number of overweight South Dakota students down slightly





SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 26, 2011
CONTACT: Kristin Biskeborn, (605) 734-4551 
 
Number of overweight South Dakota students down slightly
PIERRE, S.D. – For the second year, the number of overweight and obese South Dakota students declined, but the state still hasn’t reached its Health 2020 goal. For the 2010-2011 school year, 31.3% of students were overweight (16.1%) or obese (15.2%), a slight drop from the 32.7% reported in the previous school year’s survey.
 “It’s good to see some movement in the right direction but there’s still work to do reach our 2020 goal of no more than a 14% child obesity rate,” said Kristin Biskeborn (BIS’-kah-born), State Nutritionist for the Department of Health. “Too many of our kids are still at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disorders and other complications resulting from excess weight.”
South Dakota tracks child overweight and obesity with its School Height Weight Report, a joint effort of the Departments of Health and Education since 1999. Schools submit student height and weight data for the survey. The survey defines obese as at or above the 95th percentile body mass index-for-age when compared to kids of the same age and gender; overweight is between the 85th and 94th percentiles.
A total of 193 schools participated in the latest survey, accounting for 35.2% of students in the state. Participating schools receive reports of their own data to use in improving nutrition and physical activity in the school setting. 
Biskeborn noted there are six science-based strategies shown to prevent obesity:
  • Increase physical activity,
  • Decrease television viewing,
  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake,
  • Decrease sweetened beverage intake,
  • Decrease portion sizes, and
  • Increase breastfeeding.
The full student height weight report is available at http://doh.sd.gov/SchoolWeight.
Improving the health of South Dakota children and adolescents by reducing overweight and obesity is one goal of the department’s Health 2020 Initiative.