I've decided to write to you about something that is rampant in the United States and in Del Norte County: Childhood obesity.

Everyone thinks they're going to fix it with nutrition programs state testing and everyday physical education. I mean they might help, but I don't believe so. I am a student in Del Norte County and I want to share my opinions of what I think would help kids become less obese in this town.

First of all, at lunchtime, Pizza Hut Pizza or salad bar? Tater tots or cantaloupe? We all know that most students are going for the worse choices. Also, with this health nutrition program at the high school, some of the recipes are really good but most are just plain nasty.

Last time was spring noodles citrus fruits, this green clover stuff

that they like to use in everything, (that only our health teacher likes

to eat) and we used this sesame oil. We did not cook with the oil and

the smell made us all want to puke Only one person ate it in our class

if I remember correctly it was our teacher. The rest of us gagged at the


If they had better recipes we might actually eat them and like them.

Secondly the exceptions to PE requirements. I was a band student at

Crescent Elk. In sixth grade they had PE every day for one quarter. Then

for some reason the school decided that instead of one quarter of PE

every day the next two years we didn't have PE every day at all. I

believe that is crazy.

One reason is it was unfair to the other students who weren't in the

band. Also, we instead had PE/band for two quarters every other day,

then we had PE/computers every day for two quarters and even when we

were going by trimesters we never had PE every day. I find that a silly


There's also this special contract that you can have signed there by

the principal and your parents where you don't have PE every day.

Utterly ridiculous.

The one thing I favored though, from Crescent Elk, was the strict

dressing-down policy. If you forgot your clothes you had to borrow some,

and if you forgot them again, you got lunch detention. Everybody always

dressed down unless they were excused.

On the other hand, at Del Norte High you can decided not to dress

down whenever you want and everyone sure does take advantage of that. On

any given day there are at least four or more people not dressed down

for PE time. That means if they're not in a sport or any

extra-curricular activities they probably aren't going to exercise that


Not everyone can afford to put their kid on a sports team if they

don't have money or have multiple children and if they have parents like

mine they're not just going send their kids outside like they used to

do. Times have changed, it no longer is as safe as is used to be. Plus

not very many people want to play in the rain.

Also if you're at the high school, especially a freshman, you're

probably not going to get into weight training. There are limited

options to getting outside in the many rainy days we have if you're not

on a sports team.

In big cities with underprivileged parts they have like a center to

keep kids out of trouble. We need something like that. We used to have

the skating rink at $2 for little kids and $3 for 12 and up. Now it

costs more and not as many teenagers go. If we had someplace like that

where we run around, have fun but we were safe, and it cost little

money, I believe we would probably have less obesity.

It might even help with all the problems the teenagers cause. With

all these faults I see why we have so many overweight kids. We could

have fewer if we served better food, had less exceptions in PE, and gave

kids places to go and to have fun and exercise.

Shayla Campbell is a Klamath resident.