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In YESII, despite significantly increasing the total amount of physical activity performed, some of the students’ weight remained on an upward trajectory. That is, exercise alone was not sufficient to offset their increases in bodyweight. Therefore, along with the fitness initiative a new healthy eating curriculum and healthy lunch program will be implemented.

The YES3 Program will

The YES program will have a registered dietician on staff to help provide meal plans, healthy cooking classes, and nutrition workshops.

Learn more

Tips for parents for a healthy diet at home

How to encourage a healthy diet:

See the Mayo Clinic’s Web site for additional information on Childhood Obesity

Health tips for students

Additional resources:

Common Health Issues

High blood pressure
About five of every hundred children have higher than normal blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is even more common among Hispanic individuals than the rest of the United States population. In many cases, hypertension develops with age. As a result, your child may show no signs of high blood pressure now, but may develop the condition as an adult. Overweight teens are more prone to hypertension so it is important for you to stress good eating habits and physical activity to your child in high school and through the rest of their life.

High blood pressure can be controlled through dietary changes, exercise or what are called lifestyle changes and medication or a combination of the two. If hypertension is allowed to continue or become worse over many years, the prolonged extra pressure can:

Any of the following symptoms may indicate high blood pressure:

Limiting salt in your child's diet may help reduce their blood pressure. Giving up the use of table salt and restricting salty foods MAY reverse mild hypertension and MAY help lower more serious blood pressure elevations. You will also have to be careful when shopping for packaged or processed foods because most canned and processed foods contain a lot of salt, so check labels carefully to make sure the items have little or no salt added. Physical activity also helps regulate blood pressure and can reduce mild hypertension along with losing weight.

See the American Heart Association’s Web site for additional information on blood pressure

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that develops when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin or when the body’s tissues cannot use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells use sugar or glucose for energy. Insulin also helps the body store extra sugar in muscle, fat, and liver cells. Without insulin, the sugar stays in the blood instead of being used by the cells causing high blood sugar levels.

A person has diabetes when their blood sugar stays too high for an extended period of time. Over time, high blood sugar can cause problems with the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. High blood sugar also makes a person more likely to get serious illnesses or infections. Diabetes is very expensive to treat, requires a lot of effort to treat once it is diagnosed and as stated, causes a LOT of other health problems. Therefore, it is important to prevent diabetes rather than treat it.

One of the biggest contributors to the rise in diabetes is an increase in intra abdominal fat (belly fat) and obesity rates. How big your belly is relative to your hips is a risk for developing diabetes. For this reason, avoiding being overweight prevents and losing weight treats early diabetes. Unfortunately, we are now seeing more and more people at much younger ages developing diabetes linked to being overweight and not getting enough physical activity. This disease is PREVENTABLE. One of the goals of YES3 is to prevent diabetes through proper diet and physical activity and reaching and maintaining appropriate body weight and waist size.

Many children have no symptoms before they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
When children do have symptoms the most common include:

Factors that affect the body's resistance to insulin in childhood include:

See the American Diabetes Association’s Web site for additional information on Type 2 Diabetes.

Childhood obesity
Obesity is clinically diagnosed as being greater than the 90th percentile for weight for height or greater than or equal to the 95th percentile Body Mass Index (BMI) for a specific age and sex. That is just a fancy way of saying you weigh too much for your height!

Effects of obesity
Obesity has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. That means that being obese is unhealthy. Many risk factors associated with these diseases such as high cholesterol and blood pressure start in childhood. The risk of being an obese adult is greater among children who are obese. The age of onset, severity, and parental obesity are three factors that indicate that obese children are likely to become obese adults. Obesity in children can also have social psychological and emotional consequences. Obese children may feel isolated and lonely which can lead to self-esteem and identity problems.

Causes of obesity

Lifestyles and behaviors are established early in life so it is important to get started now in encouraging your child’s good health. The primary goals in obesity management are reducing the number of calories your child consumes by following a well-balanced diet and increasing physical activity. Make sure your child eats breakfast. Children who skip breakfast may have difficulty in class and tend to snack and eat heavier meals later in the day.

See the Mayo Clinic’s Web site for additional information on Childhood Obesity

YES Program links

For more information on Marquette University’s YES Program, contact Kelly Dione at (414) 649-2819 or