As an active participant in Healthy and Active Before 5, I am thrilled that our collaborative in partnership with the Monument Community Partnership (MCP) has received a rolex replica watches three-year $1 million grant from Kaiser to fight obesity in the Monument Corridor.
The investment is part of Kaiser Permanente’s new $10 million HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Zones initiative designed to make healthy choices more accessible to people in underserved communities.
In the Monument community, overweight and obesity rates at most local elementary schools range from 36 to 61 percent. As a direct result of the obesity epidemic, children’s doctors are seeing a significant rise in chronic illness in children. Obese children are more than twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes as children of normal weight.
If current trends continue, experts warn that one of three American children born in 2000–and half of all children from ethnic/racially diverse populations–will develop type 2 diabetes during their lifetime.
To reverse this alarming trend, Healthy and Active Before 5 and MCP will focus efforts on: www.rabanwatch.com
- Decreasing calorie consumption, especially sugar-sweetened beverages
- Increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Increasing physical activity in community settings, such as parks and safe routes for walking and biking
- Increasing physical activity in institutional settings, such as schools and workplaces
I am particularly excited that this project focuses not just on public education, but also addresses many of the barriers that lead to higher obesity rates in low-income communities. Did you know that in California, there are four times as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as supermarkets and produce vendors? And in many low-income communities, the ratio is even higher.
This movement is about changing how our communities and daily environments are designed so that the healthy choice is the easy choice for all residents. It’s about making sure healthy foods and beverages are available and affordable regardless of where you live. It’s about ensuring that streets are safe for walking and biking; parks are safe, available and equipped for play; and that all children are given sufficient opportunities to be active at child care and school.
It’s an exciting time to be part of this movement and we are gaining momentum. Even big corporations that have profited from serving junk foods are now learning that they too need to offer and advertise healthy foods. But we’re not there yet and we still have a lot of work to do. That’s why we are so grateful for Kaiser’s donation.