Wellness program looks to cut obesity in Cumberland County schools


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A new program called MATCH Wellness is being used at Cumberland County schools this year to help prevent obesity.

MATCH stands for Motivating Adolescents with Technology to Choose Health.

Students spend one day of the week in the classroom learning about the importance of healthy eating and regular exercise.

“Our society has a tendency to promote overeating,” John Griffin Middle School teacher Gina Pepper said. “I don’t think people are paying enough attention to all the health risks that are associated with overeating.” 

The students also spend four days a week doing physical activity as part of the program.

CBS 17 asked students what they’ve learned so far.

“It gave me a good scale for how much water everyone should drink,” said Jacob Borek.

Laine Maples said, “The MATCH program is really fun because our teacher is really interactive with us.” 

“I don’t drink much water every day, but then my teacher told us how much water we should drink, helped me a lot,” Eubey Kang said.

“As I’ve learned it, when I go home and I see people doing things differently I’ll kind of tell them, and then it seems like it’s changed our lifestyle around the house lately,” said Kamari Stubbs.

“When you’re healthier, you have a better lifestyle,” Audrey Suh said.  

A positive lifestyle change is what Pepper hopes to accomplish with the program.

“My hope is that I am making a difference,” Pepper said.

The Greater Cumberland County Sector Partnership provides this program to all seventh-grade students for free.

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