Students participate in La. Body Walk

The 4-H Junior Leadership Club assisted with the Louisiana Body Walk program at J.S. Aucoin Elementary in Amelia. Seated is Caitlin Petitfils, Hanson Memorial High School. Standing from left is McKaila Darden, Centerville High School; Jhalon Thomas, Hanson Memorial; Kaeley Hill, Berwick High School and Carl Taylor Stirling, Hanson Memorial. --Submitted photo

By ADRIANA DRUSINI LSU AgCenter Extension Agent 4-H Youth and Family Development

What really happens to that sandwich you eat after you swallow it? Students at J.S. Aucoin Elementary School in Amelia found out as they toured the Louisiana Body Walk exhibit March 17.
The Louisiana Body Walk is an exhibit that travels the state to teach students the importance of adopting healthy behaviors. It is part of an innovative program sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and the LSU AgCenter.
As students toured this representation of the human body, they explored each of the Body Walk’s 11 stations. They participated in hands on activities that focus on healthy lifestyle choices such as eating nutritious food and getting plenty of exercise.
Students enter the exhibit, by walking into the Smart Bodies Lunchroom where they are magically turned into a piece of food, such as a carrot or a hamburger. They then walked through a giant ear into the brain where they experience “brain waves.”
The “foods” then stepped into the exhibit’s larger-than-life mouth, were “swallowed” through the esophagus tunnel, and were “digested” in the stomach. From the stomach, students traveled through the small intestine where they were “absorbed” by villi into the blood. They followed the path of the nutrients to the heart, lungs, bones, muscles and skin stations.
As students left the body through a cut in the skin, they visited the pathway for life station and reviewed the health concepts they just learned.
The Louisiana Body Walk is one component of Smart Bodies, an innovative program that teaches the importance of good nutrition and physical fitness.
The Smart Bodies program is in its ninth year and was developed to address increasing national concerns about the lack of physical activity and the declining nutritional status of young children. In Louisiana, childhood obesity has doubled in the past 20 years; almost one in three school-aged children is overweight or obese.
The Body Walk provides a unique and exciting opportunity for Louisiana elementary students to learn about their bodies and the importance of making healthy choices.
For information on the Smart Bodies Program or Louisiana Body Walk, contact Adriana Drusini or Jenni Ducote at the St. Mary Parish Extension Office at 337-828-4100, extension 300, or visit the Smart Bodies website at www.smartbodies.org.

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