A research project is underway to see if horses can be used to encourage kids to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Registered Dietician and SUNY Oneonta Assistant Professor, Helen Battisti, spear-headed the two-year study. Eight children, between the ages of 6 and 11, and their families participate here at South Wind Stable in the Town of Binghamton. Battisti says the research is being done to help people in rural communities, where horses are common. The kids see how the horses react to different foods and the program encourages physical activity. The children are also being trained to think about the horses and their behavior. The ultimate goals are to fight obesity, boost self esteem and encourage kids to eat healthy foods. Battisti is monitoring those areas as part of her research.
Helen Battisti says, "Helen says, "If this program proves successful that we can change behavior, we can change the consumption of fruits and vegetables, we can change the activity level, we can change leadership skills, then the program will just be bundled up and given to programs that already have a presence in rural America such as 4-H, such as Girl Scouts, such as Boy Scouts."
This is National Nutrition Month. For more information on healthy living, log onto the Southern Tier Dietetic website at eatrightst.org