Tea, South Dakota Implements Kids’ Wellness Program

by: Nichole Gunn March 11, 2011

Wellness programs prove to be effective for kids as well as employees. Tea, South Dakota initiated a 12-week health and wellness program for students. The program, titled Dakota Kids, provides help and guidance needed for students to become more aware of and concerned about their health.

The founder of Dakota Kids, Aaron Maguire, is proud of the research and development put into the program. "We put the kids through a pre and post bod pod test, and the results were amazing."

"I lost a few pounds of body fat and I lost six pounds in the program,” explained Mandy McDougal, a a senior Dakota Kids participant. “It really helped me make life changes instead of a diet. It puts in perspective what you eat, the calories, the sugar, the fat, the sodium."

According to KSFY.com, Maguire believes the Tea wellness program success story will allow the Dakota Kids programs to be implemented in other school districts. He sees kids as the solution to this country’s obesity epidemic.

Looking at the statistics, which show a third of kids overweight and two-thirds of parents overweight, Maguire said, “We're taking a bottom up approach, letting the kids teach the parents.”

With the success of the Dakota Kids program, it’s realistic to assume its effectiveness can be accomplished elsewhere. U.S. healthcare costs are rising steadily, influencing children’s lifestyle choices will help reduce these costs as the students become future employees. It will also be an effective way to get parents to view their own lifestyle choices.