About 300 Jackson Elementary students were “digested” through the human body on Dec. 14, when they toured the Louisiana Body Walk, a 35-by-45-foot traveling exhibit replicating parts of the human body that visits elementary schools statewide.

Eleven interactive stations — the Smart Bodies cafeteria, brain, mouth, stomach, small intestine, heart, lungs, bones, muscles, skin and pathway for life station — were manned recently by East Feliciana High School students, while the Jackson Elementary pupils learned about healthy habits, such as choosing nutritious foods and how those choices affect their bodies.

“The children love the Body Walk because they learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices in a fun way. They learn what foods are good for them and how to be physically active,” said Leanna Cupit, LSU AgCenter assistant extension agent for East Feliciana Parish. “We appreciate the support of our school volunteers and the community organizations that assisted with the exhibit and made the Body Walk and the overall Smart Bodies Program possible.”

Cupit said the exhibit has been a successful model for teaching human nutrition, physiology and the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors in a way that children can understand.

After taking a stroll through the human body exhibit, the students received an activity book to share with their families.

Jackson Elementary Principal Megan Phillips said the school is thankful for the high school students who volunteered to make the program a success.

The Smart Bodies program was developed to address increasing national concerns about the lack of physical activity and the declining nutritional status of children, according to Cupit, who added that childhood obesity in Louisiana has doubled in the past 20 years, and nearly 1 in 3 school-aged children are overweight or obese.

For information about the Smart Bodies program and the Louisiana Body Walk, call Cupit at (225) 683-3101 or visit smartbodies.org.