The Y Recognizes National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

YMCA of the USA joins the ‘Healthier Kids, Brighter Futures’ Initiative to reduce childhood obesity

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 27, 2010) –YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the nation’s 2,687 Ys, joins more than 70 national organizations to lead a community response to childhood obesity, during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Earlier this year, a resolution was unanimously passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate designating September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, to bring attention to this growing epidemic in the United States and call Americans to action. The theme for the month is Healthier Kids, Brighter Futures.

Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in America. An estimated 23 million children and teenagers ages two to 19 are obese or overweight. That rate has tripled in the past 30 years. For the first time in history, children may have shorter lifespan expectancies than their parents.   

Every day, Ys work with children, families and leaders from all sectors of the community to find innovative solutions to help individuals and families make healthier choices.  Working with the Healthier Kids, Brighter Futures initiative, the Y will be able to extend its work to turn the tide of childhood obesity.

“Obesity places our nation’s youth at risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions that they shouldn’t have to worry about,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “We must work together across all sectors of our communities to create solutions that will help our kids adopt and maintain healthy behaviors throughout their lives. We applaud Congress for making September National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and are proud to support the Healthier Kids, Brighter Futures initiative.”

The Healthier Kids, Brighter Futures initiative educates and empowers families and youth to live healthy lifestyles, eat nutritious food and be physically active. Throughout the month of September, organizations around the United States will plan and carry out activities that build awareness about and encourage action on childhood obesity.

The initiative’s Web site, healthierkidsbrighterfutures.org, provides information, Web links and tools to promote and celebrate September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The YMCA’s Healthy Family Home, which provides free resources devoted to helping families adopt healthy behaviors, will also be featured on the initiative’s web site.

The YMCA’s Healthier Communities Initiatives include efforts to combat childhood obesity such as facilitating community partnerships to influence policy and environmental changes that increase access to clean and safe parks and recreational facilities so that more kids can have the opportunity to participate in physical activity. The YMCA’s Healthier Communities Initiatives efforts also include reducing health disparities and increasing access to fruits and vegetables in underserved areas through making community gardens and farmers' markets more accessible.

The public and private sector, communities and thought leaders, including First Lady Michelle Obama, are championing a range of efforts to improve child wellness in America. The Y invites you to join them in empowering Healthier Kids for a Brighter Future. For additional information on how families can work together to life healthier lives, visit www.healthyfamilyhome.org. For more information on the 2010 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, visit www.healthierkidsbrighterfutures.org

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About YMCA of the USA

YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the Y, one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

Contact:
Kelly Kennai
YMCA of the USA
800.932.9622
kelly.kennai@ymca.net

 

Friday, August 27, 20101

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.