Tackling Obesity Through Education and FUNdraising

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 General News
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WICHITA, Kan., Sept. 30 Tagging foods good and bad, blaming fast food chains, or adding school regulations are just single focus reactions to the childhood obesity issue, says Vickie James. James is Executive Director of Healthy Kids Challenge, one of the nation's leading organizations helping kids and adults develop ownership and advocacy for healthy eating and physical activity.



"It's time we quit making crisis-based decisions and begin teaching a 'start where you are' approach with small, every day steps that guide healthy change for a lifetime," says James, a registered, licensed dietitian.



Before obesity trends were a health "crisis," James was challenging the status quo to create environments where healthy eating and physical activity were part of daily routine. Now in its tenth year, the award-winning nonprofit she directs is addressing the crisis nation-wide using best practices and activities such as their national event, Healthy Kids Dance for Health. The first annual Healthy Kids Dance for Health event is one creative idea to build healthier habits. According to James, "Like walk fundraisers, we know a dance event is a great way to help families spend time together enjoying active fun while raising money for their school or community organization." Over a hundred schools and youth programs have signed up for Healthy Kids Dance for Health activities planned throughout October. This represents approximately 65,000 adults and kids having fun while making healthy choices at their community dance events.



"Schools and youth programs are in a tough position to make healthy changes with little or no funding," said James. A majority of Healthy Kids Dance for Health proceeds will stay with schools and youth programs to further healthy eating and physical activity education efforts. The grand prize for the most funds raised includes a "Day of Dance" with Healthy Kids Challenge spokesperson and celebrity, Sabrina Bryan.



Healthy Kids Challenge has become a unique leader in the obesity fight. James emphasizes the importance of education, access to healthy choices, and opportunities to enjoy healthy balance. James continues, "Every strategy we use is built on actions that are the start for sustainable,

healthy change; with an emphasis on fun." Healthy Kids Dance for Health is being supported corporately by CIGNA and Mission Foods.



To learn more about the Healthy Kids Challenge organization, visit http://www.healthykidschallenge.org



SOURCE Healthy Kids Challenge


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