Y-Street is great program

Published 10:23 pm Monday, January 29, 2018

The Y-Street program in effect at several local schools, including Nansemond River High School, is a valuable one that ought to be replicated in every school.

The student leaders promote healthy lifestyles mainly by extolling the benefits of living tobacco-free and maintaining a healthy diet and physical activity level. The program is sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.

For the majority of young people, there’s probably nothing that can ensnare them faster and become a detriment to their lifelong health than to start using tobacco or to develop the bad habits of eating junk all of the time and leading a sedentary lifestyle.

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According to research by the American Lung Association, 87 percent of adult smokers had tried their first cigarette by age 18, and 95 percent had by 21.

And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and teens who are obese are more likely to be obese as an adult and to have all of the conditions that come along with obesity, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer.

So it becomes clear that high-schoolers who steer clear of the use of tobacco and other drugs and who can maintain a healthy balance in their diet and activity level will set themselves up well for the rest of their life.

The students at Nansemond River High School who participate in the Y-Street program have become well versed on these topics and are following their own advice. Not only have they done themselves a great service but also they have made a measurable impact on the lifestyles of their peers as well.

We thank them and their advisers for their hard work. The ripple effects of this program are likely to be so far-reaching that they will never know what a difference they made.