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What Our Readers Are Saying About Greenport School's High Obesity Rate

Some readers point to the expense of healthier foods as being one cause for the higher obesity figures in Greenport.

Childhood obesity within the Greenport Union Free School District are the highest on Long Island, according to data collected by the New York State Department of Health. In fact, 34.9 percent of students were reported to be obese. 

After Patch posted a story, readers started a discussion on Facebook. Here's what they had to say:

Sara Ganetis wrote, "The percentage is so high because the total number of students is small compared with other larger districts. You really shouldn't compare percentages without normalizing them first... #stats101."

Jeff Dinizio wrote, "I'm sure if you looked at the mean income per family of the top 5 schools listed, you'd find it's significantly lower than that of say, Dix Hills, West Islip, Wading River. Poorer people eat cheaper, processed food. Sociology 101."

George Stephens wrote, "How did they get the kids medical records? HIpaa violations somewhere. The district should explain this."

Darren Mignone wrote, "Poverty=obesity, no coincidence. Compare economics and obesity if you want to study something of value."

Krista DePetro De Kerillis wrote, "Greenport never fairs well when percentages are used. When you have a very small school it doesn't take a lot of students to push those numbers up. I really don't think 49 students constitutes a obesity crisis in our school. Once again Greenport is made to look bad."

John Grilli wrote, "Wonder what the average weight was before Xbox play station and smart phones? I'm thinking it's not poverty it's laziness......."

Annemarie Heaney Chouinard wrote, "Do they still have to take four years of gym in high school? In the south where I am, they take one semester of gym out of eight."

Jill Lynn wrote, "Some of these comments leave me smh. the kids are fat that's it; educate the parents, the kids and we all know school lunches are full fat and prob the worst thing kids can eat. Its based on a percent sooooo it does not matter the size of the school IT'S A PERCENT of the attending students! School physicals are done every year, remember having to wear your bathing suit in the locker room and have the nurse do your measurements."

Jeff Dinizio wrote, "George Stephens, no one got the kids medical records, no names were mentioned. It is not against HIPAA regulations to report statistics. John Grilli, you think it's simple a coincidence that that many of the top districts on that list have many families of lower income?"

Linda Marie Mysliborski wrote, "Instead of trying to go at each other how about we all just look at the facts obesity is a problem not only in our district but throughout the u.s. most lower income who receive food stamps do not buy healthy foods as they are expensive so they buy whats cheaper (crappy foods! ) they are only given so much money to spend a month. It does boil down to the parents or their caregivers and yes video games , tv and computers and living a sedentary lifestyle contributes to this. Educating is key."

How do you feel about Greenport's high obesity rate? What can be done to combat it? Tell us in the comments below.
JET January 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM
I pay attention to what is in other's carts when I go food shopping. People say people buy non nutritious food because it is cheap. Why would someone choose a giant size of Doritios's for $3.99 or so when they could buy maybe six apples? This is just one example. I see it all the time.
Gary M Charters January 12, 2014 at 07:18 AM
In my experience any report that uses percentages you can push the results in the direction you want. There were many studies done at the school concerning healthy lunches and unless you assign a monitor to each and every student it's difficult to make sure they only eat the right food. This is another function that someone is trying to blame or place responsibility on the school. Put the blame where it belongs! Maybe the data used for this study was skewed like the date used in that erroneous US News and World report for top ten high schools.

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