Students learn healthy eating habits from unusual teachers

PERRY COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - One and three children are overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of America's youth will develop diabetes if current eating and exercise habits don't improve. To help change those numbers, some students in Perry County Illinois came face to face with some an unusual teachers on Thursday.

They do not look like teachers and there are no books in this classroom. But these so called mad scientists certainly grab the attention of students at Consolidated District 204 School in Pinckneyville.

However, behind the student's laughter the actors with Foodplay share some serious messages.

"We're aiming to sort of combat commercials and things that are promoting a less than healthy image and sort of giving kids healthy habits to start off with when they are young and they start to ingrain it for their lives," said Sarah Payson with Foodplay Productions.

The national program travels across the country teaching students about nutrition and healthy habits through theater. Payson says during the high energy show students learn how food and exercise affect their body.

"Let them know how they can make better choices and how they can eat healthier and get themselves to a healthy point for the rest of their lives," said Payson. "You only get one body and this is what you have for the rest of your life."

As the show goes on students learn how to read food labels, about the importance of breakfast and what makes up the popular kid drink, known as soda. Lesson some students in the crowd they were surprised to learn.

"It's funny and it's healthy stuff and I'm learning that there's a lot of sugar in soda," said 5th Grader Lydianne Pestka.

Classmate Savannah Cheek added that she learned, "There's ten teaspoons of sugar in one can of soda."

Foodplay is visiting 40 schools throughout Illinois. Three are in Perry County, Illinois. The show will make its final stop in southern Illinois at DuQuoin Elementary School on Friday.

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