Jack Bennett, DPT, CSCS
In response to startling statistics about childhood obesity, Jack Bennett, DPT, CSCS assistant professor of physical therapy, developed “Healthology of Children,” a University Seminar course designed to educate first-year students on how to promote and improve the physical well-being of American children.
According to the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 16.9 percent of children and adolescents, ages of 2 – 19, are obese, an increase of more than 11 percent since the 1976-1980 survey. To help address the negative trend, Bennett’s students held a children’s health fair earlier this month and will host a public education forum from 7-8:15 p.m. on Nov. 30 in the University Auditorium. The forum will feature local experts in education, psychiatry and athletics.
“With both of our community activities, we’re providing educational resources and trying to educate parents and children on how to modify behaviors,” Bennett said. “We’d like for parents, teachers, government, business, media, and the community to be more involved in our kid’s development.”
The public forum will feature presentations that address environmental and social factors affecting childhood obesity. Students, along with a panel of experts, will discuss the influence of parents, schools, government, media and the community on childhood obesity and the child’s individual responsibility to improve his or her health.
Scheduled to appear on the panel are a child psychiatrist, a physical education professor, a school administrator and Solomon Alexander, director of the St. Louis Sports Commission.