COPPERAS COVE, TX — Texas lands in 10th place for the highest obesity rate in the nation, according to the annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.
Some Copperas Cove Junior High School students are not only learning how to eat healthy but also how to prepare nutritious meals in their farm to table class.
Eighth grade student Arayna Mancine lives a very active lifestyle.
"[I] have to run, and running, you can't run very fast if you're obese," said Mancine.
For the softball player, staying fit on the field begins with her nutrition.
"Because I don't want to not have a healthy body and grow like to not be healthy," explained Mancine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13.7 million children and adolescents suffer from obesity in the U.S.
In her farm to table class, Mancine and her classmates learn about preparing healthy meals.
"It helps me learn how to grow my own food, how to make my own food and what to put in the food," said Joseph Edwards, another eighth grade student.
"If the child is obese in their childhood, what are you expecting for them in their adulthood?" said Yilris Finney, who teaches the Farm to Table Class. "There's going to be a lot of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes Type 2 and all these kind of conditions that you really can avoid if you are learning how to eat healthy and control your portions."
Chef Finney said those efforts go beyond helping the students in her class.
"My dad, I've told him, "Hey we're eating plantains today,'" said Mancine. "And he's like, "Oh was it good?" and I tell him how to make it."
"I help one, I'm not only helping one. I help the whole household," said Finney.
For more information on those statistics and for obesity prevention program resources, click here.