Students to participate in Body Walk

What really happens to that sandwich you ate after you swallow it? Students at Centerville High School will find out as they tour the Louisiana Body Walk exhibit March 21.

“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,” Adriana Drusini, LSU AgCenter agent said.

The Louisiana Body Walk is an exhibit that travels the state to teach students the importance of adopting healthy behaviors.

As students tour this representation of the human body, they will explore each of the Body Walk’s 11 stations, by participating in hands-on activities that focus on healthy lifestyle choices such as eating nutritious food and getting plenty of exercise.

Drusini said that students enter the exhibit by walking through a giant ear into the brain where they experience “brain waves.” After leaving brain, students are each given a bookmark “where they are magically turned into a piece of food, such as a carrot or a hamburger,” she said.

The “foods” step into the exhibit’s larger-than-life mouth, are “swallowed” through the esophagus tunnel, and are “digested” in the stomach. From the stomach, the students travel through the small intestine where they are “absorbed” by villi into the blood.

They then follow the path of the nutrients to the heart, lungs, bones, muscles and skin stations. As students leave the body through a cut in the skin, they visit the pathway for life station to review the health concepts they have just learned.

According to Jenni Ducote, LSU AgCenter agent for St. Mary Parish, the Louisiana Body Walk is one component of Smart Bodies, an innovative program sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation that teaches the importance of good nutrition and physical fitness.

The Smart Bodies program is in its eighth school 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, according to Ducote.

For information on the Smart Bodies Program or Louisiana Body Walk, contact Ducote or Drusini at 337-828-4100, ext. 300 or visit the Smart Bodies Web site

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