More than 40 Kentucky high schools will receive grants to improve student nutrition, increase physical activity or prevent tobacco use. The "Students Taking Charge" program will have students assessing their school environment and coming up with and implementing an action plan to create healthy changes.
"We have to create programs that get our young people involved in the process and on the path to lifelong health and wellness," said Victoria Greenwell, administrator for the state Department of Public Health's Coordinated School Health program and co-chair of Kentucky Action for Healthy Kids. "If we wait until children are grown to introduce them to healthy environments or sensible eating and exercise plans, it's often too late. We have to act now to instill the values of leading a healthy lifestyle."
Just 16.7 percent of Kentucky students reported eating five servings of fruit and vegetables every day and under 40 percent of students said they had been active for an hour on five days during a week, the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found. The survey also found nearly 1 in 3 students said they'd used a tobacco product in the past 30 days.
To see which schools received a grant and for more information, click here.