On the Move to Better Health
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Today, nearly one in three children in America is overweight or obese. Some researchers consider children to be “overfed” but “undernourished.”
Obese children are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, with 70 percent of obese children showing at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Obesity increases the risk for diabetes, stroke, cancer and osteoarthritis. If these trends continue, research suggests that one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their life.
“On the Move to Better Health” is a five-week, school-based curriculum for fourth and fifth-grade students. Based on MyPlate, the curriculum aims to increase fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods in the diets of children, decrease consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and improve fitness habits. As part of the curriculum, parents or guardians receive newsletters and participate in goal setting and other family-based activities.
Throughout the 2010-2011 school year, 696 youth participated in “On the Move to Better Health” in Burleigh County through the Go! Bismarck-Mandan Healthy Community Coalition.
According to student’s post-survey data:
- 54 percent reported increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables they consumed
- 62 percent reported drinking more milk and consuming more dairy foods
- 66 percent reported drinking less soda pop
- 65 percent reported choosing healthier snacks
- 60 percent reported increasing their daily amount of physical activity
According to the surveys with families:
- 67 percent set a goal each week; of those, 51 percent met their nutrition or fitness goal as a family
“I liked it because we learned about vitamins and learned how to make good choice with meals.”
“I like On the Move because it gets you to eat healthier.”
“It really influenced the kids to watch what they are eating and drinking- they are much more aware.”
“My daughter is more aware of better eating habits. It’s even rubbed off on her 5 year old brother. He tells his grandparents if the choice they make are good or not.”