Students learn healthy habits in Body Walk

Photo provided by MELISSA BLOW -- Southeastern Louisiana University volunteers, from left, Jerome Rudolph, Brandon Chapoton, Jared Lewis, and Samuel Abboud help students through the Louisiana Body Walk.
Photo provided by MELISSA BLOW -- Southeastern Louisiana University volunteers, from left, Jerome Rudolph, Brandon Chapoton, Jared Lewis, and Samuel Abboud help students through the Louisiana Body Walk.

More than 750 students at Midway Elementary School learned more about the human body on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10 as they traveled through the Louisiana Body Walk, a traveling exhibit that visits elementary schools throughout Louisiana. Through a hands-on approach, the Body Walk teaches children healthy habits, such as choosing nutritious foods, by showing them how their choices affect their body.

The Louisiana Body Walk is one of three components of Smart Bodies, a comprehensive health program that provides nutrition education and promotes increased physical activity, school officials said. The Smart Bodies Program is entering its eighth year and continues to travel to schools statewide through a joint effort by the LSU Agricultural Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, they said.

Body Walk engages students by showing them how to be healthy. By being actively involved, students remember the behaviors and encourage others to be healthy as well, school official said.

The Body Walk features an 11-stop tour of the body including the brain, mouth, stomach, small intestine, heart, lungs, bones, muscles and skin and a pathway for life stations.

“The children love the Body Walk because they learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices in a fun way. They learn what foods are good for them and how to be physically active,” local Agricultural Center agents said. “We appreciate the support of our school volunteers and the community organizations that assisted with the exhibit and made the Body Walk and the overall Smart Bodies Program possible.”

The Smart Bodies Program was developed to address increasing national concerns about the lack of physical activity and the declining nutritional status of young children, school officials said. In Louisiana, childhood obesity has doubled in the past 20 years, and almost one in three school-aged children is overweight or obese, they said.

For information on the Smart Bodies Program and the Louisiana Body Walk, contact an LSU Agricultural Center agent, or visit http://www.smartbodies.org.