New Campaign Targets Child Obesity
Hopes to prevent cancer later in life
Three in ten children in Alaska are considered overweight or obese – that’s according to state health officials who say those numbers are a major cause for concern because in the next decade obesity is expected to the number one cause of cancer.
State officials are hoping a new campaign will curb those stats. It’s called the “Healthy Futures Challenge,” which is part of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame – a campaign that focuses on getting elementary school children to get more active by doing what they already do.
The challenge requires students to complete at least thirty minutes of physical activity outside of school three days a week.
The American Cancer Society estimates that two-thirds of Americans are overweight. If you’re more than 50 pounds above your target weight, you’re considered obese. According to recent studies, one-third of all cancer deaths are related to obesity, poor nutrition and lack of exercise. In Alaska, $459 million are spent every year to treat health conditions related to obesity.
Experts say it’s important to begin healthy physical habits as early as possible. So far, 8,200 students from 72 schools across the state have signed up for the challenge, which begins in February and ends in March.
Children who complete the challenge win several prizes, including a digital jump rope.