Today marks the beginning of the first National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, an effort to bring even more attention to this huge problem our nation faces and strengthen the resolve to fight the dispiriting trend that has enveloped youth and worsened over the past four decades.
At the 25 schools DC SCORES serves, we fight childhood obesity every day. By providing over 120 hours of physical activity annually through soccer games and practices and by teaching good nutrition, we inspire children to live healthier lifestyles.
Our program is especially important in this aspect because of the glaring lack of sports leagues for public school children throughout the city. When kids don’t have an organized outlet through which to get physical activity, they often end up on the couch at home.
By providing soccer teams for 750 students, we give children a fun environment in which to exercise every day – the absolute best way for young people to be healthy.
In January, we published a comprehensive evaluation outcomes report that detailed the effect we have on children’s physical fitness levels. While there is always room for improvement, the results were clear:
DC SCORES students showed statistically significant gains in cardiovascular fitness and Body Mass Index (BMI).
Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign has brought the issue of childhood obesity under a national microscope, and during this month hopefully awareness will continue to build about just how serious it is.
Actions, not just words, must be taken to win this fight. Starting Sept. 13, DC SCORES will be doing just that every afternoon across the District as our 16th year of programming gets under way.
To learn more about Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, visit the initiative’s website.