According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, our state’s obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and our kids are on track to becoming the most obese in the nation. To reverse this trend, we must take action.
Successful solutions are beginning to come together in Oklahoma, thanks to many organizations and programs who are working together for a healthier state. Afterschool programs are a key strategy in achieving our goals.
What you need to know about afterschool meals
In this Webinar, speakers discuss the nationwide expansion of the new Afterschool Meal Program made through The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The Afterschool Meal Program is an important new sustainable funding source for afterschool programs. Speakers will explain the new program and discuss how it will be implemented nationwide.
The webinar is co-sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the YMCA of the USA.
* Crystal Fitz Simons, Director of School and Out-of-School Time Programs, Food Research and Action Center
* Tina Namian, Section Chief, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Section, Child Nutrition Division, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
* Lori Thompson, Food Program Administrator, The YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo
* Courtney Conner, Nutrition Associate, Maryland Hunger Solutions
In 2005, Oklahoma’s Governor announced the “Strong & Healthy Oklahoma” Initiative– a coordinated, collaborative approach to improve the health of Oklahomans by encouraging them to Eat Better, More More and Be Tobacco Free. A major focus of this effort included finding effective ways to reduce childhood obesity. As a proud partner with the Strong and Healthy Oklahoma Initiative, the Oklahoma Afterschool Network is a part of those leading the way!
The Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition is working to be the change agent for improving the health environment and behaviors of children and youth by taking direct aim at the childhood obesity epidemic. A partner program with OKAN at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Fit Kids creates awareness and provides educational resources to schools, communities and families seeking nutritional information and strategies to be fit and healthy.
Good things are happening here in Oklahoma to help kids and families learn about healthy lifestyles! In Grove, Oklahoma, a partnership between the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Grand Lake YMCA, OSU Cooperative Extension and the Grove Public Schools adopted The CATCH Kids Club curriculum. The Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Kids Clubhas been shown, through a strong national evaluation, to be effective in improving nutrition, physical activity and healthy choices among elementary school children in afterschool settings. In addition to the nutrition and physical activity lessons, CATCH promotes positive social, cultural, physical, emotional, cognitive and educational outcomes for students.
A great example of immersing health education in afterschool settings is taking place in North Carolina. The Move More Afterschool North Carolina initiative resources, curriculum standards and activity planners for afterschool providers. Visit their website by clicking here.
Last week, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) adjusted their final birth numbers for 2009 – 2012, increasing the total number of births each year for all age ranges, including teen births. Most of changes in birth numbers were in counties on Oklahoma’s eastern border. The additional numbers represented births to Oklahoma residents that occurred in Arkansas but had not been recorded in the state data system.
Oklahoma Teen Birth Alert (February 2014) with the new teen birth totals from OSDH. Click for article
For updated 2012 county maps with teen birth numbers and rates by age ranges, check the “Fast Facts” section of the Healthy Teens OK! website: www.
The scientifically based curriculum of GO Club and GO Crew addresses each of the three major Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS): Motor Skill and Lifetime Activity Development, Health-Enhancing Activity Development and Personal and Social Skill Development. The overall goal of PASS is to promote the health and well-being of each student and guide them toward becoming physically active for life.
The Oklahoma Afterschool Network factsheet has current data on Oklahoma’s health and how afterschool programs are a great opportunity to educate our kids and parents about healthy lifestyles. Click here to download our fact sheet.
This article by Jennifer Peck for the Huffington Post links the childhood obesity epidemic to a loss of summer learning opportunities for kids.
In this July, 2010 articlefrom the Afterschool Alliance, Erik Peterson explains the importance of the federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
The United Health Foundation
The American Public Health Association
Partnership for Prevention
This report provides projections of future health care costs directly attributable to obesity for each state and for the nation. Using nationally representative data on adults, the study estimates the effect of the increasing prevalence of obesity on total direct health care costs. Estimates are controlled for age, gender, race, ethnicity, marital status, education, income, health insurance status, geographic region and smoking status.
Obesity is growing faster than any previous public health issue our nation has faced. If current trends continue, 103 million American adults will be considered obese by 2018.
The U.S. is expected to spend $344 billion on health care costs attributable to obesity in 2018 if rates continue to increase at their current levels. Obesity‐related direct expenditures are expected to account for more than 21 percent of the nation’s direct health care spending in 2018.
If obesity levels were held at their current rates, the U.S. could save an estimated $820 per adult in health care costs by 2018 ‐ a savings of almost $200 billion dollars.
At the state level, Oklahoma stands to benefit the most if obesity levels remain steady. This would provide a potential savings of $1,200 per adult or a savings of more than $3.2 billion for the state.
Oklahoma is expected to have the highest obesity rate in the country by 2018; Colorado is estimated to have the lowest obesity rate