Revamped school in VA is tackling childhood obesity and making water a part of it.

Childhood overweight and obesity concerns are nothing new; however, one school in Buckingham County, VA took a whole different approach and remodeled their elementary school to promote healthy eating and physical activity, reports Lisa Stark from ABC news. Check out this video about the design and thought process behind it:

The ABC write up provides some details about the cafeteria layout and highlights how water fountains are conspicuous and contain colorful signs touting its health benefits. Anisha Patel, who recently spoke at a HNFE seminar, and her colleagues at the University of California San Francisco recommend similar strategies to increase children’s water consumption. They also found that other tactics, like providing students and faculty with disposable water bottles, having filtered, cold water available, and offering water-related education materials and activities, can increase intake of water among children.

Dr. Elena Serrano, a HNFE professor and faculty member of the Water INTERface program who does research with on childhood obesity, believes that Buckingham County’s innovative strategy has pros and cons. She thinks “[t]he most disparate school divisions probably cannot afford a school like this” and that the cost of such a venture may be a barrier. However, Dr. Serrano highlights that the approach “[h]elps create a social norm around the value of food and nutrition, [i]mproves food preparation and culinary skills and ideally increases physical activity.”

Would you like to see these efforts in Blacksburg schools? How do you think the dining halls on Tech’s campus address healthy eating?

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