Fighting Childhood Obesity With Tools, Teaching

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The HSC Foundation is unveiling a grassroots campaign targeting childhood obesity awareness and education in low-income communities in the Washington area. The campaign will address the way families view weight and obesity and help them make healthier decisions for themselves and their children.

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National statistics show approximately one in five African American and Latino children are obese, increasing the risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments, orthopedic problems, depression and type 2 diabetes. Latino adolescents born in the U.S. to immigrant parents are twice as likely as their foreign-born counterparts who move to the U.S.

Traditional fitness and weight loss programs have been undermined in low-income minority communities because of a need to focus on basic survival issues. Less recess at school, the lack of safe and well-equipped recreation centers, and few to no grocery stores in some communities have made keeping adequately fit a greater challenge.

The Foundation's program will target African American and Latino families in low-income areas, especially in Wards 7 and 8 of the District, through posters on Metrobuses and Metrorail's green line, ads in a number of community newspapers, including the Washington Informer and El Pregonero, and public service announcements on several radio stations, including WPGC-FM and WLZL-FM. The campaign will offer a free healthy living directory, listing local resources that focus on nutrition, recreation and related services. All communications are in English and Spanish.

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