The Monadnock Region is losing it.

Weight, that is. At least, our children are.

To explain, a recent study by the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services shows rates of childhood obesity have declined in the Monadnock Region over the past five years. Further, it shows that Cheshire County has one of the lowest rates of childhood obesity in the state.

Why is that? Well, unfortunately it isn’t, as is the case in the fictional Lake Wobegone, that “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Instead, it’s the result of hard work on the part of many in the region to provide and encourage healthy lifestyles and nutritious food options.

Specifically, the Healthy Monadnock 2020 initiative is credited with at least some of the success. The goal of the program, which has enlisted local health professionals, school and city staff and business owners, is to make the Keene area the nation’s healthiest community by 2020.

Local schools, for example, have contributed to the effort by offering better lunch choices, such as salad bars, and encouraging more exercise by mandating at least 20 minutes of recess each day.

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