Chil­dren get a taste of healthy lead­er­ship

STU­DENTS PER­SUAD­ING PEERS TO EAT BET­TER

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis

THE Year 5 stu­dents of Our Lady of the Rosary Pri­mary School in St Marys have taken the Can­cer Coun­cil’s Eat It To Beat It pro­gram to another level.

Ameek Brar and Gourvika Ku­mar are two of the stu­dent am­bas­sadors re­spon­si­ble for in­spir­ing their peers to eat health­ier by putting up healthy recipes in the school’s news­let­ter and re­search­ing ques­tions asked by other stu­dents.

The 2011 NSW School Stu­dents Health Be­hav­iours Sur­vey found that just 49 per cent of chil­dren aged be­tween two and 15 in Western Syd­ney and the Blue Moun­tains ate enough fruit and only 28 per cent ate enough veg­eta­bles ev­ery day.

Ameek, 10, was con­cerned about the ef­fects junk food could have on kids her age.

“I nor­mally see lots of chil­dren eat junk food and it can make them sick if they eat too much,” she said.

Gourvika, 10, ad­mit­ted she strug­gled to eat healthy, but be­ing an am­bas­sador helped keep her on track.

“I have to eat healthy be­cause if I don’t, then it does not make me a good role model like the other peo­ple,” she said.

The school’s learn­ing co­or­di­na­tor, Ni­cole Darby, said the pro­gram also gave the stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop lead­er­ship skills.

The Eat It To Beat It cam­paign was started af­ter the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Clin­i­cal On­col­ogy warned that obes- ity would soon over­take smok­ing as the top risk fac­tor for can­cer.

The 2010 NSW Schools Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity and Nutri­tion Sur­vey re­vealed one in five chil­dren aged be­tween five and 17 were ei­ther over­weight or obese.

Can­cer Coun­cil re­search also re­vealed about 93 per cent of adults in Western Syd­ney did not eat enough veg­eta­bles and about half did not eat enough fruit.

Pic­ture: JEREMY PIPER

Our Lady of the Rosary Pri­mary School’s Year 5 stu­dents have be­come am­bas­sadors of healthy eat­ing un­der the Eat It To Beat It pro­gram.

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