Students raise awareness for Healthy Base Initiative

Base Info
Students from Yokota West Elementary School dance during a performance to raise awareness for the Recess Before Lunch program at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 2, 2015. The program is part of the Healthy Base Initiative. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dustin Payne/Released)
Students from Yokota West Elementary School dance during a performance to raise awareness for the Recess Before Lunch program at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 2, 2015. The program is part of the Healthy Base Initiative. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dustin Payne/Released)

Students raise awareness for Healthy Base Initiative

by: Senior Airman David Owsianka, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs | .
Yokota Air Base | .
published: June 13, 2015

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Students from Yokota West Elementary School gave a performance to raise awareness for the Recess Before Lunch program as part of the Healthy Base Initiative at Yokota AB, June 2, 2015.

The Recess Before Lunch program allows students to get involved in physical activity prior to consumption of nutrients, which according to the School Nutrition Association, showed increased intake of nutrient-rich foods and lower-than-average intake of fatty foods.

"We love the recess before lunch program," said Jennifer Horn, Yokota West Elementary School speech-language pathologist. "We have found that the students burn a lot of energy through recess. When they go into the cafeteria (after exercising) they are hungrier and tend to eat more food, fruits and vegetables. We are also finding that the kids are not getting sick as much."

Teachers have noticed a change in the students eating habits and conduct within the classroom.

"Prior to initiating the program, we found that a majority of the students would throw away their lunch in order to have recess for a longer period of time," said Sharon Carter, Yokota West Elementary School principal. "The students are also much more relaxed when going back to the classroom because they have been able to exert some of their energy and are ready to work. Teachers have reported that the students are concentrating more in class."

The students at Yokota West Elementary School enjoy having the Recess Before Lunch Program.

"This program is important because if we don't have recess before lunch we can have stomach aches and cramps," said Astrid, 10, daughter of Col. William Mazzeno, 5th Air Force logistics and engineering director, and Yokota West Elementary School student. "It's healthier for us because we are able to build our appetite for lunch and will eat more fruits and vegetables. Doing this also allows us to be more focused in the classroom."

The RBL program was introduced as part of the Healthy Base Initiative.

The HBI is a program that aims to improve military communities by encouraging increased physical activity and improved nutritional choices. The HBI--operating under the banner of Operation Live Well--is a Department of Defense-wide education, outreach and behavior change initiative designed to improve the health and well-being of members of the defense community, including spouses, children, retirees and DoD employees.

Tags: Yokota Air Base, Base Info
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