Fighting the childhood obesity epidemic
Action for Healthy Kids is a nonprofit organization that is helping schools teach kids how to eat right, be active every day, and be ready to learn. They are also involved in combating childhood obesity and undernourishment.1
In 2002, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher gave a public call to action to fight the epidemic of childhood obesity. In response, Action for Healthy Kids was formed by a small group of national associations, organizations, and individuals. These founding members were from the areas of nutrition, fitness, health, and education and were interested in creating healthy learning environments for children in the schools.
Action for Healthy Kids is a network of grassroots volunteers and a collaboration of over 70 national and state-level organizations, associations, and government agencies that have the shared vision of assisting all kids to develop lifelong habits that promote health and learning.2
Some of their collaborators include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Education Association Health Information Network, and the Healthy Kids Challenge. Action for Healthy Kids is associated with organizations such as KaBOOM!, YMCA of the USA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
Governmental agencies in the Action for Healthy Kids network include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.3
How the program works
Every state has volunteer teams that support the needs of the local schools through providing educational information, bridging cultural differences, developing and implementing wellness policies and councils, and offering coaching in utilizing Action for Healthy Kids programs.4
The four low cost or no cost programs offered by Action for Healthy Kids are: Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge, ReCharge! Energizing After-School, Students Taking Charge, and the Wellness Policy Tool. Game On! challenges kids and families to eat healthy and be physically active daily. Developed with the National Football League, ReCharge! teaches kids in grades 2-6 about nutrition and physical activity through teamwork activities.
The Students Taking Charge is aimed for high school students to learn how to take action in making their schools healthier. And the Wellness Policy Tool is an aid to schools in establishing a wellness policy.5
Resources such as newsletters, facts sheets, research reports are available at the Action for Healthy Kids website.6 They also list on the website the volunteer opportunities for each state.
- 1. “About Us.” Action for Healthy Kids. < http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/about-us/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. “Our Partners.” Action for Healthy Kids. < http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/partners/our-partners/ > 30 Sep 2011.
- 4. “State Teams.” Action for Healthy Kids. < http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/about-us/teams/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
- 5. “Our Programs.” Action for Healthy Kids. < http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/school-programs/our-programs/ > 9 Oct. 2011.
- 6. “Resources to Create Change.” Action for Healthy Kids. < http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/resources/ > 9 Oct. 2011.