Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

RTs and a Fat America

Did you see,in this morning's news,the results of a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health? The report revealed that two-thirds of Americans are either overwight or obese.

Reading this report made me wonder just how involved recreational therapists are in helping clients to become more fit and less fat. I've seen little to indicate RTs are really concerned about thier clients weight and fitness.

Shouldn't more attention be drawn to this area by RTs? Shouldn't RTs be discussing what they can do to stem this obesity epidemic?


Blogger Danny Pettry said...

I live and work in the Huntington, West Virginia area.

Huntington has had several negative ranks in the last few years.

We were the # 1 town for most people with obesity in the United States.
We were also in the top ten cities for number of smokers and people with poor dental health.

I’d argue that the poor dental health could be due to few people in the state having dental insurance, but I don’t have any reports with evidence to prove this.

The overall state has a high ranking in people who live in poverty, too. I have a theory that this is linked to obesity. Many of the unhealthy foods are cheaper than healthy foods, but again, I have no proof.

Here are some areas that I suggest teaching and promoting in this area:

a. overall health education
b. how to care for teeth
c. how to eat healthy
d. how to stay active

I am also aware of one behavioral health residential program for children somewhere on the eastern side of the United States. They had one 10-year-old who weighed about 275 lbs. upon admission. The treatment center provided recreational therapy services. The center didn’t have a physical therapist, registered dietician, or occupational therapist. The physician had ordered a low fat diet and so many hours of physical activity per week. The recreational therapist provided opportunities for the boy that included: walking around the track, playing active games: kickball, basketball. (with rest breaks). The boy had lost well over 100 lbs. during his year stay at the program. His comments reflected that he felt positive about his healthy changes.

6:12 PM  

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