The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website reports that as of January 2013, approximately 17 percent of youths aged two through 19 are overweight, with obesity rates nearly tripling since 1980.1 Among children today, obesity causes a broad range of health problems, including high blood pressure.
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nebraska recently collaborated with the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center to help combat this epidemic through the Healthy Home Project. The program offers a fun, family approach to behavior modification, nutritional education, and cooking and exercise classes, which are designed to help equip participants with the knowledge and confidence necessary to maintain healthier living habits.
The objective of the Healthy Home Project is to help participants establish life-long positive changes through support of this and other programs within the Kroc Center. Each 12-week session begins with a pre-program survey and testing. This initial screening may help participants to better understand healthy dietary guidelines and set personalized, individual fitness objectives.
The program includes four cooking classes in which participants are encouraged to bring their favorite recipes to class and a registered dietician leads discussions centered on substituting healthy ingredients. The revised recipes are then shared with the group in the form of a scrapbook.
At the conclusion of the 12 weeks, a post-program fitness test and evaluation are completed. Successes are celebrated and participants are encouraged to sustain their new healthy choices and habits.
This innovative alliance builds brand awareness and helps strengthen community relationships but most importantly, it focuses on the social responsibility to help end childhood obesity.
1. Childhood obesity data is from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, last accessed June 4, 2010