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By Francis Koster Ed. D.

In national rankings, North Carolina ranks high for our number of sick school children, and low for our number of school nurses.

The numbers are amazing - 1 in 5 school kids has a medical diagnosis that must be managed to facilitate maximum learning[1].

1) One in three North Carolina kids aged 10 - 17 are "Obese".[2] Obese children have their life shortened between four and ten years, and for citizens of all ages obesity accounts for one dollar of every ten spent on healthcare in the United States.[3]

2) Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in North Carolina, and skyrocketing. As a nation we are headed toward a future where 1 in 3 adults will have it, and live 15 years less than the rest of us.[4]

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Copyright Francis Koster Ed. D.

Note: In addition to publishing my writing on this website, and emailing it to a mailing list of over 3,000 community leaders, my columns appear in several newspapers. One of the unsatisfying aspects of my work is that I never know if anyone acts on the material I create.  This column was an experiment.  Instead of writing about a national problem and a national opportunity, I decided to try to write about the same issue from a local perspective, choosing a community near where I live which had a social service organization willing to participate in the experiment.  This would allow me to monitor the impact of the column.   For a view of the results, check out the Letter To The Editor of.......

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