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Healthy Communities Childhood Obesity Initiatives

Healthy Weight Initiatives

Children with dangerously high blood pressure. Kids unable to run more than a few feet. Childhood depression. These are some of the effects of the obesity epidemic among American children. In fact, one out of three kids is now considered overweight or obese.

Pediatricians are seeing an alarming rise in Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and "non-alcoholic" fatty liver disease - conditions once considered afflictions of the middle-aged and elderly. Obesity in children puts every major organ at risk and in ways that researchers are only beginning to understand, is far more destructive than packing on extra pounds later in life.

To help reverse the trend, St. Jude Medical Center is sponsoring a series of initiatives designed to combat childhood obesity. These initiatives are focused on improving nutrition, enhancing physical activity and supporting healthy lifestyle policies in low income neighborhoods of North Orange County. Some of the activities we are involved with include:

  • The Lunchtime Exercise Action Program trains parents to coordinate a moderate to vigorous physical activity program they offer to students during their lunch break.
  • The Rival Health Program provides online nutrition and physical activity support for teachers and their students.
  • Participation in School District Wellness Councils provides an opportunity to enhance school-based policies and programs.
  • Providing leadership and support to city collaborations who wish to develop obesity prevention plans.
  • Working with cities to incorporate health language as they update their General Plans and assist them in implementing Healthy Eating Active Living Resolutions.
  • Supporting campaigns such as Move More Eat Healthy Orange County and Move More Eat Healthy La Habra.
  • Working with pre-school nurses on strategies to work with parents on healthy lifestyle issues.
  • Advocating for an active transportation vision in Orange County.

It is through education, improved physical activity and nutrition programs and advocating for healthy lifestyle policies with many community partners that should help reverse the increasing trend of childhood overweight and obesity.

For more information about the Healthy Weight Initiatives, please call (714) 992-3996.