JCCHAT BMI letters to be returned to parents

February 27, 2014

The Jackson County Community Health Action Team – Nutrition & Fitness Task Force has collected data locally to show how first through sixth grade students in Jackson County are fairing with at risk weights.

November 2013 the coalition collected the height and weight of participating students in every school district within Jackson County. Parent information forms with the student’s individual BMI information will be returned to the schools in the coming weeks and parents are encouraged to look for the information to be sent home in a sealed envelope in their child’s backpack. Although next step information and resources are listed on the BMI Form, parents are encouraged to discuss concerns with their child’s pediatrician. Other resources can be found online at The site, operated by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust and Oklahoma State Department of Health, links readers to websites that offer easy-to-follow tips and tools for improving nutrition and physical fitness.

“This is the coalitions 4th year to collect this base-line data in Jackson County,” said Haley Rinkenbaugh, Chair of the Jackson County Community Health Action Team – Nutrition & Fitness Task Force. “The information gained from this project is priceless. With real-time, local data, the coalition can work with school districts to enhance policies to include health & nutrition and quality physical activity.” School districts and communities have used the information collected by JCCHAT Nutrition & Fitness Task Force to apply for grant monies and as a catalyst to review current policies that can highly impact physical activity and nutrition assets.

Rinkenbaugh adds, “Although we do not have all of the 2013 data results compiled yet, the previous four years show 36%-39% of Jackson County, first-six grade students are at risk due to excessive weight which is approximately 7% higher than the National average.” In this state, about one in three kids ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health of 2011-12. Meanwhile the latest Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicates that one in six Oklahoma high school students (16.7 percent) are obese. The national average for obese high school students is 13 percent.

Regular physical activity and good nutrition form the foundation of achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. Health experts advise children and teens to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

For more information on what’s happening locally for kids and teens in physical activity and nutrition, including policy work with schools and afterschool programs, contact Tara Turner, CX Nutrition & Physical Activity Coordinator at 580-482-7308 or For a wealth of physical activity and nutrition ideas, guidelines and tools, visit

TSET is a grant making state agency that funds the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, public education campaigns to improve health and grants to communities, statewide organizations, and research institutions. The TSET Board of Directors’ strategic plan focuses on reducing cancer and cardiovascular disease – the state’s leading causes of