Blue Cross Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity by granting funds to Michigan schools that apply and meet the criteria of the Building Healthy Communities program. In Michigan, 30.6 percent of kids age 10 to 17 are overweight, according to a report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These children have a higher likelihood of suffering adult health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure, heart disease and overall self-confidence and mood issues. Our children have many other worries and stresses, so why add this one to the list when there is something that can be done?
A Toolbox Approach
The Blues developed a sustainable program by using a “toolbox” approach, providing funding to the grantee schools for proven physical activity and healthy eating and nutrition resources. The overall goal is for elementary schools to implement this toolkit so the students have a better overall understanding of the importance of creating lifelong healthy habits. In 2009 and 2010, grants went to more than 14,000 kids at 39 schools. In celebration of completing the Building Healthy Communities grant program, schools are asked to do is host a 5K walk/run for the schools, families and the community at the end of the year. Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Dixon Elementary and Henry Ford Academy were 3 of the 22 schools that were granted funds for 2010. Ryan Coxon from Henry Ford Academy stated that “most kids knew the basics of diet and physical activity by the end of the year." [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgrE8psj8iY&w=640&h=390]
Help the Cause
Many schools jumped on board and provided kids with healthy eating tips and got them up and moving. Here are some things you can do this summer to keep the momentum going: