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KID HEALTHY Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Reflects First Lady's Focus
Date:3/4/2010

Steps to Healthy Living Campaign Kicks Off on March 9 to Make Southern California Healthier for Kids, Families and Communities

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders of the annual KID HEALTHY - Steps to Healthy Living Campaign, announced today that on March 9 they will celebrate eight years of working in schools and youth agencies to combat the rising trend of childhood obesity in Southern California.  Working in collaboration with 20 public and private non-profit agencies, KID HEALTHY has put into place activities aimed to encourage children in grades 4 and 5 to make healthy food choices and increase their physical activities.

The KID HEALTHY Nutrition Education Material and Activity Plan closely mirrors First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign.  "We applaud the First Lady for drawing attention to the issue of childhood obesity and for presenting sound approaches that are already working locally in Southern California," said Jackie Teichmann, KID HEALTHY's Regional Director. "Obesity is a national problem and we support her efforts to lead this national awareness campaign."  

Both KID HEALTHY and the "Let's Move Campaign" support: 1) Offering parents the tools and information they need to make better decisions about their children's nutrition; 2) getting healthier foods in schools; 3) improving the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods;  and 4) increasing opportunities for kids to play and move.

During the Spring 2010 four-week campaign, KID HEALTHY aims to impact change through media and communication activities by providing educational materials such as food logs, nutrition education, pedometers to track steps, and a take-home workbook to elementary school teachers and after-school staff in 16 school districts and 500+ community youth organization sites serving more than 100,000 students.  

"Kaiser Permanente is committed to working closely with community organizations that are striving to combat obesity, reduce health disparities, and make healthy food and physical activity a part of everyday life," said Diana Bonta, vice president of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Since 1994, Kaiser Permanente has contributed more than $1 million in grants to fund the KID HEALTHY educational campaign for Southern California children.  

The campaign also engages parents and gives them the tools to implement healthy changes in the home, school and neighborhood. In recent years, small grants were provided to parents and teachers for such environmental improvements as school gardens, basketball courts and backboards, walking tracks and handball walls.  "This year, a handful of parents in Santa Ana are being trained as health promoters to learn about and improve school wellness policies," notes Mrs. Teichmann. "We plan to offer them a mini-grant to fund any changes they see that would make a viable difference at the school level."

KID HEALTHY was founded by ABC7 and is supported by a coalition of local non-profit volunteers, state and county agencies and corporate sponsors.  The project is implemented in elementary schools with assistance from the Network for a Healthy California-Children's PowerPlay! Campaign.  A review conducted in 2006 and published in Preventive Medicine: An International Journal Devoted to Practice and Theory identified the Children's PowerPlay! Campaign as "one of the top ten programs worldwide to show significant results for fruit and vegetable consumption among children." The Campaign was one of three 2005 finalists to receive a Leadership, Innovation, and Nutrition Collaboration Award from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service for Excellence in Practice. In 2004, the Campaign was also awarded a gold rating through the Children's Healthy Bodies Initiative, which worked to identify programs with the greatest potential to impact childhood obesity.

KID HEALTHY's collaborative agency partners are: ABC7; Kaiser Permanente Southern California; Albertsons/Sav-On; CalOptima; CVS Pharmacy; Pacific Life; L.A. Care; Community Action Partnership of Orange County. The Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Departments of Public Health; University of California San Diego; Health Care Agency Orange County; Orange County Parent Teacher Association, and the American Cancer Society; University of California San Diego; Health Care Agency Orange County; Orange County Parent Teacher Association, and the American Cancer Society.  

For further information, please call Jackie Teichmann at (714) 914-1203 or Penny Lopez at (562) 217-0017. Additional information can be found at www.mykidhealthy.org.

SOURCE KID HEALTHY - Steps to Healthy Living Campaign

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SOURCE KID HEALTHY - Steps to Healthy Living Campaign
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