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Advisory committee stands up for fitness

Kids just aren’t as healthy as they once were, and a group of concerned adults is determined to do something about it.

The Central Kitsap School District’s Health Advisory Committee spoke to the school board at a regular scheduled meeting Wednesday night and the news was not good.

According to recent statistics, kids aren’t eating what they should or getting enough exercise, said local pediatrician Robyn Perlow, who is on the committee. The committee believes the schools are the logical place to teach children how to make healthy choices.

The group is currently focused on advocating an increase in the healthy food choices in the breakfast and lunch program, said committee member Maggie Smith, a school health consultant. Later down the line, the committee would like to see policy changes that encourage more physical activity at school.

Perlow sees the results of inactivity and junk food first-hand.

He asks each of his pediatric patients to fill out questionaires about their junk food consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity.

“The kids are truthful in their answers,” he said.

Perlow said a majority of his pediatric patients are not getting enough fruits and vegetables and less than 50 percent are getting enough exercise.

These are nation-wide trends, Perlow said. The eating and exercise habits have caused “a huge increase” in the number of new cases of Type II diabetes in children and adolescents because of obesity.

There was no action taken on the report from the committee.

The school district did decide on Wednesday to:

l Raise the price of school breakfasts and lunches. The new prices, which will increase between five and 25 cents, will be elementary breakfasts, $1; elementary lunches, $2; secondary breakfasts, $1.25; secondary lunches, $2.25; adult breakfasts, $1.75; adult lunches, $2.75 and HeadStart lunches $2.

The price increase will help address a projected deficit of $120,000 in the food service program. The food prices were last increased in 2002-03.

l Approve a slew of literature for the district’s secondary schools, including “The Inferno,” by Dante Aligheiri; “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck and “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” by Anonymous.

l Approve a contract with the mechanical contracting firm W.A. Botting Co. of Woodinville to replace the boiler at Central Kitsap Junior High School. The replacement boiler will cost $289,460.

The current boiler is 45 years old and emergency repairs last winter closed the school for a day.

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