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A healthy future requires better choices today
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Dawson County Schools have waged a war on childhood obesity.

Recently the Dawson News & Advertiser has featured stories about programs that our local schools have begun to help kids make healthy choices. Whether its a healthier snack choice at lunch or a fun and interesting way to get active, our schools are trying to make a difference.

But we want to charge the parents and families of those children to take up that fight.

Leigh Ann Dyer, School Nurse at Blacks Mill Elementary, spoke at Mondays Dawson County Board of Education meeting. She had some wonderful news about the great things that are happening regarding health in Dawson County schools.

Three schools have earned bronze awards from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and BMES has earned the silver and is chasing gold this year.

Dyer even asked the board and the audience to go through a Jammin Minute, where everyone stands up and does light exercise - including stretching, jumping jacks and pretending to hula-hoop - for one minute. The Jammin Minute is a regular part of the routine at BMES and a great example of how schools are trying to keep our youth active.

However, she also had some disturbing news. She deals with students every day that suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

As she put it Monday evening, These are things that adults deal with and they are already affecting our children. If we do not make a change our children will live shorter lives than we do, Dyer added.

While she admitted that the schools have kids as a captive audience, parents need to be prepared to make the extra effort too. We are as guilty as anyone else for settling for a quick meal from a fast food joint at the end of a long day. But look where it has gotten us as a country and the impact that it is having on the next generation.

We know that it will take some extra effort, but we think that the results will be worth it. The groundwork has been laid and all we need to do as parents and a community is pick up the ball and run with it.

If you are not sure where to turn for fun activities or healthy eating options there are countless resources available on the Internet. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers tips for parents here,