Teen Sisters Help Kids Conquer Obesity in Corpus Christi, Texas



How can one family have an impact on reducing obesity in their school and beyond? Just look at the Surani sisters of Corpus Christi, Texas. After learning that their city had been named the fattest in the nation and how obesity is a huge health threat among children, the three girls wanted to take action They, with the help of their parents and others, created several programs to improve children’s health, including the iConquer program to help kids beat obesity by achieving healthy lifestyles starting from the early ages of 3 to 6 years old. Sister History of Health Fifteen-year-old Zoya Surani, along with sisters Sara (19) and Saherish (16), grew up in a household where healthy choices were commonplace. Their father, a pulmonologist, and mother, a respiratory therapist, ...

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Middle Schoolers Develop Health Program for Elementary Students



In 2010, the predominantly Latino city of Corpus Christi, Texas, was labeled the “fattest city in the nation” by Men’s Health magazine. A group of local middle school students were not happy about this designation and wanted to do something about it. After speaking to friends and teachers, the students reached out to influential community members to develop interest and support for a health program for elementary students called “Mission FitPossible.” Three years later, the students were high school students and they would wake up an hour early to bring Mission FitPossible to nearby elementary students. Next Generation to Inherit Fattest City in Texas Corpus Christi, Texas (59.7% Latino), was labeled the “fattest city in the nation” in 2010. Sarita Damaraju and Doug ...

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National Secondary School Survey Results Show Need for More Improvement



The new results are out for the 2013-2014 years within the National Secondary School Survey Results. This survey shows the School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity findings since the 2007 studies began. Surveys from school administrators, mostly principals, were taken to measure the success and areas in need for progress in regards to diet and physical activity in schools. The major findings revealed that schools have been making noticeable efforts in offering students healthier foods and beverages for lunch, however, many students still have easy access to sugary beverages and junk foods. Very little progress was reported for increasing physical activity among students during or after school times. In fact, physical education requirements for high school ...

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Urban Farms Grow Healthy Connections for Youth and Farmers



Chicago, Illinois ( 28.9% Latino) is growing towards healthy connections for students by helping them connect to farmers and healthy foods through their classrooms. More and more schools in the area are allowing students to visit local farms, write to farmers, and learn what it takes to grow and harvest healthy foods as farm to school grows in Illinois. Programs like Adopt a Farmer, or free curriculums like Seven Generations Ahead are helping students understand the importance of where their food comes from, and what it takes to grow healthy foods. Field trips taken to farms like Angelic Organics Learning Farm, or Windy City Harvest Youth Farm are helping students become the next generation of food leaders. Farm to School in Illinois is taking off with urban farms and community ...

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PE Teachers Bring 60 Minutes of Daily Activity to Students Before or After School



Many Latino students don’t meet daily recommendations of physical activity because they lack access to quality activity opportunities during school and they are burdened by barriers to access quality activity opportunities after school, such as safety, availability and cost. Kids that don’t meet daily recommendations of physical activity are at increased risk for obesity and other adverse health outcomes. Two PE teachers in Edmonds School District in Washington developed a before/after school program as well as a recess program to help kids reach 60 minutes of recommended daily activity on most days of the week. They developed these programs to be implemented in schools to reduce accessibility barriers associated with safety, availability and cost. EMERGENCE: Awareness: Jennifer ...

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Innovative Health Education for Kids, by Kids in Schools



In a Florida school district that didn’t provide health classes in high schools, a health educator, Risa Berrin, and her sister, Valerie Berrin, worked together to raise the bar on health education with their Health Information Project (HIP). HIP is a peer-to-peer program that allows students to teach each other about health problems, prevention, and how to access to local health resources toward reducing obesity, suicide, depression and other issues. EMERGENCE Awareness: Risa Berrin was a health reporter for her college newspaper when she first started seeing how teens were unaware or misinformed about health and prevention. She became part of the solution, starting a career as a certified human growth and reproductive health educator. While teaching law classes at a Miami-area ...

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Farm Fresh Food Days In Michigan Schools



Taste tests are being held every month at Dexter Community Schools, to help students eat healthier "one bite at a time", reports a recent article. Students now have the opportunity to try fresh local fruits and veggies from their own school gardens, and from local farmers. Produce that is taste tested and enjoyed by students and staff then becomes incorporated into the schools menu. With funding from the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation, through the 5 Healthy Towns Project the school has been incorporating a farm to school approach since 2011, their school gardens also are helping the children learn about growing produce, as well as trying new foods. One of the parents in the school, mentioned in the article talks about how she got kids excited about eating healthy. “I did a ...

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Right to Recess for All Schools



Need tools on how to get recess back into your school? Many Latino kids do not get the daily activity needed, and recess is one way to help them achieve a healthier physical lifestyle. The Right to Recess Campaign was started to assist those looking to have recess in their school by providing PTA members, parents, teachers, and community leaders the much needed tools to keep recess going in their schools. Need recess in your school? Click this link to access free ...

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Mandatory Morning Dance Program at Illinois School



Mary Colver, the school nurse at Little Fort Elementary School in Waukegan, IL, (55.7% Latino) wanted to get kids moving.   She recognized obesity as a problem (33.6% of children in Illinois are obese), but also wanted to increase student’s performance in the classroom. With a grant from Action for Healthy Kids, Mary started 6 physical activity initiatives at her school: Morning music program Brain breaks Before-school exercise club Family health night Physical Activity Leaders program Created a ½ mile walking path Students have responded very enthusiastically to the Morning Music Program.  Every morning after the pledge of allegiance, a song is played in all the classrooms and students are required to get up and get moving.  They can do jumping jacks, ...

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