There are a lot of reasons for obesity: bad eating habits, poor nutrition and low or no physical activity. This trifecta puts our community’s children at risk for serious health issues that start when they’re young.
As kids grow they have a voracious demand for calories and nutrients to fuel their growth and development. Getting healthy meals, encouraging healthy eating habits and incorporating greater physical activity takes family involvement, strong programs and changing behaviors that will get more kids healthy.
Facts about childhood obesity
A few of the challenges our children face:
- In some local communities the childhood obesity rate is as high as 40 percent
- U.S. childhood obesity rates are 3x greater than in 1980*
- Obesity is the second leading behavioral contributor to death in the U.S.*
- A lack of nutritious food during childhood can have lasting physical effects
- That’s no way to be a child! Can we count on you to help keep our kids healthy?
* Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, January 2010
Reducing childhood obesity in Orange County
At United Way, childhood obesity prevention is a major focus. Thankfully, through food distribution programs with OC Food Bank and Second Harvest, as well as local after-school programs promoting activities for healthy children, we’re able to get fresher food options and behavioral changes to where it matters most—into the lives of children.
Waste Not OC
Waste Not OC is a United Way coalition food recovery and distribution program connecting county agencies, grocers and restaurants with food pantries to distribute surplus food that would otherwise have been thrown away.
We also partner with two major food banks to provide healthy foods through innovative delivery methods, including school-based and mobile pantries as well as hydroponic farms, community gardens, nutrition and cooking classes in local community centers.
THE FIT CLUB™ Program gives students a safe place to exercise, learn about healthy eating and even participate in cooking classes after school and during the summer
– Jackelin, 6, entered as a shy child, but soon became a standout. She was the first to volunteer for the obstacle course, advancing from one sit up and pushup to 10 of each!
– Jordan, 12, gave 100% effort and always helped the younger kids. Over the course of the summer, he lost 11 pounds and gained a more positive self-image