The Richmond County Cooperative Extension is partnering with FirstHealth of the Carolinas’ Community Health Services to offer free cooking and nutrition classes this summer.
“America has become an overweight and obese nation,” said Sarah Mammarella, family and consumer sciences agent with the Cooperative Extension. “Because of what we eat, how much we eat and how little we exercise, it is estimated that by the year 2030, $900 billion dollars will be spent in medical costs that are directly related to America’s problem with weight. In addition to cost, being overweight or obese also takes decades off of a person’s life. We are all now tasked with the mission to take back years of quality life by living a more healthful, active life.”
Mammarella said the county is now ranked 98th out of 100 for unfavorable health factors, which includes health behaviors among other things.
“As many know, the improvement of the condition of our nation and state lie in the hands of our young people,” Mammarella said. “Currently, an alarming 42 percent of Richmond County children are overweight or obese and 31 percent are physically inactive. These statistics need to change in order for progress to the obesity epidemic to be met.”
The free program, called “Food S.T.U.F.F.,” is open to kids ages 9 through 12. The class is designed to empower young people to live a more healthful, active life.
Classes will meet the week of July 30-Aug. 3 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Richmond County Cooperative Extension, located at 123 Caroline St., Suite 100 (beside the health department), Rockingham.
In each interactive session, youth will prepare a tasty snack recipe and learn how to make healthy food choices. Call Mammarella at 910-997-8255 to register. Space is limited, and advanced sign-up is recommended.