Nevada kids battle obesity
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Report shows state youths are unhealthy, under insured
A recent survey found that Nevada kindergartners are suffering from obesity and poor dental hygiene.
According to a survey done by the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy (NICRP) at UNLV, a third of Nevada’s children who are entering the 2011-2012 school year are overweight or obese.
The findings also indicated that 34 percent of kindergartners in Nevada suffered from weight problems.
“Because these children are entering kindergarten overweight … we should be looking for what we can do outside of school to prevent obesity in children,” said Tara Phebus, the associate director for the NICRP.
The survey covered a broad range of health related issues and concluded that 16 percent of kindergartners in the state of Nevada had no health insurance coverage.
Also, 29 percent of the children had not received routine dental care in the last year and 44 percent have already had a cavity
Results also showed 54 percent of uninsured children are Hispanic, the largest ethnic group in the region.
The NICRP is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing children’s issues in the state of Nevada. It is a research center within the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences. Their mission is to conduct community based research that will guide the development of programs and services for Nevada’s children.
The information that the NICRP report puts out provides data that can be used to guide health policy and target interventions in the state.
“This report is important to UNLV because with its release, solutions can be generated on the communal level,” Phebus said.
She also added that the role of the NICRP is to analyze the data and to provide the necessary information for different programs for the community.
NICRP’s research allows the organization to examine results throughout the state on a county-by-county basis, providing a clearer picture of childhood obesity in terms of demographics and geography, according to Phebus.
“This study is a great example of how UNLV, the health division and Nevada school districts are working together to improve health outcomes for our state’s children,” said Tony Allen, UNLV’s Office of Media Relations manager. “It’s just one of many ways the NICRP, through the School of Community Health Sciences, works with state and community organizations to guide policies, develop programs and find services to make life better for Nevada’s children.”