Rhonda Sanders received an eye-opening letter from her daughter’s school three years ago: At age 10, her 5-foot, 137-pound child was heavier than 98 percent of her peers.
After a regimen that included the family jumping rope in the backyard, swapping bottled water for soda and eating more fruit, Sanders’ daughter last year was 5-6 and weighed 120 pounds.
“There was something about getting that letter that changed us,” Sanders said Wednesday as Arkansas unveiled new body-mass index numbers used to assess childhood obesity.
The percentage of Arkansas schoolchildren overweight or at risk of becoming overweight was 37.5 percent this year, down from 38.1 percent three years ago. The most recent canvass covered 371,082 of Arkansas’ 450,000 public school children.