There are more than 12 million obese children across the country. Childhood obesity is a full-fledged epidemic everywhere, including right here in Beaufort County.
The approach MindStream would take in partnering with the Beaufort County School District emphasizes prevention. MindStream's traditional program is designed for acute cases that require a fully immersive experience to solve. Those aren't the cases and families we would work with in the district.
We want to educate local youth in a hands-on experiential program that will provide them with a skill set designed to prevent them from needing a program like MindStream's boarding program.
While this plan calls for a taxpayer investment, ultimately it saves taxpayers money in the future. According to the Clinton Foundation, for every dollar invested in prevention, approximately $5 in health care costs are saved, all while working toward making our community more knowledgeable about optimal and affordable nutrition.
Furthermore, that calculation doesn't even account for collateral benefits that have been proved as well, such as increased academic performance and self-esteem.
On the surface it is easy to say that schools shouldn't be responsible for their students' personal health, but the benefits that the structure of a school environment can provide to increase a student's quality of life are undeniable.
With what amounts to a small investment from the community, we can be on the cutting edge of stemming the tide of a nationwide epidemic right here in Beaufort County.
Sarah Stone, director of programs