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Showing posts from June, 2010

Profiles in Fitness: Head Start Body Start

Within the last generation, youth physical fitness has gained significant ground in the political sphere. It's a given that promoting healthy living and physical activity is an important function of children's education.

But only until fairly recently, there wasn't much of a support structure in government or elsewhere to actually fund and implement effective policies.

So as childhood obesity rates steadily increase disproportionately in low-income communities, fueling demands for government action from the public and press, enter a big bowl of federal and non-governmental alphabet soup -- HHS, ACF, OHS, AAPAR, NASPE, and most notably, an eclectic organization with a name that's even too long for a complete acronym.

Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play, or HSBS in the interest of breath-saving, "aims to increase physical activity, outdoor play, and healthy eating among Head Start and Early Head Start children, families,…

The Health Angle: More Quality Playgrounds, Less Childhood Obesity

The news these days is full of accounts based on alarming statistics regarding American kids' sinking levels of physical fitness and correspondingly skyrocketing obesity rates. The best are the CDC figures -- exponentially increasing numbers of kids are obese; annual health costs resulting from obesity total billions of dollars and shorter life expectancies.

"Childhood Obesity" is now a common form of medical speak for the at least pudgy, if not downright health-threatening condition that continues to scream for awareness from parents, educators and anyone who cares about young people.

One very notable person who fits that description is the First Lady. In April Michelle Obama debuted the "Let's Move" campaign to challenge poor diet and lack of exercise.

On the dietary front, the World Health Organization has taken aim at junk food. The United Nations' health advocate comprised of 193 member states points to the global gain in cases of childhood obe…