Hula hoops against diabetes, learning ability predicts success

Using hula hoops against diabetes
Researchers have long said that obesity and diabetes go hand in hand, and doctors say that both are getting out of hand. Now educators are resorting to some very creative ways to try and keep diabetes under control.

Hula hoops were popular in the 1960's, but one instructor is using them to keep kids healthy now.

Hula hoops are how Pkay Hand teaches kids that fitness and healthy eating are crucial. As an instructor, Pkay mixes health facts with fun, but her bottom line is completely serious.

Type-2 diabetes is just one of the obesity-related diseases that she warns about. Pkay herself has survived 35 years with an even worse form of the disease, juvenile diabetes.

A healthier lifestyle has slowed her disease, even though it cannot cure it, and she hopes to pass on the lessons she has learned.

“I’ve explained to them that when I was young and was told I had diabetes, one thing I always said was, ‘why didn’t somebody tell me.’ So now I'm telling them, that it’s out there, it’s real, it’s on the rise so let’s try to not get diabetes,” said Pkay.

“Pkay’s Hoop and Aerobics with Flavor” class is just one part of Chicago’s “After School Matters” program.

Ability to learn predictor of success
A new study shows that the best indicator of academic success is the ability to learn, and that social skills are far less important.

Researchers at Northwestern University found that mastering math concepts, like the order of numbers, was the best predictor of later academic success.

Understanding early language and reading skills, as well as the ability to control behavior and concentrate on a task were also keys to achievement.

The study also found that being sad or withdrawn did not appear to detract from learning, and that having well-developed social skills did not necessarily lead to doing well in school.

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