Addressing Childhood Obesity
Healthier kids today mean healthier adults tomorrow.
Healthy Schools Healthy Communities
In 2013, we established the Healthy Schools Healthy Communities (HSHC) initiative to address childhood obesity through prevention efforts in select areas. HSHC brings together schools, community organizations, businesses, parents, and residents to identify and advocate for changes that increase access to healthy food and physical activity where our kids live, learn, and play.
Why it matters:
Missouri is one of the heaviest states in the country, with 35 percent of adults obese and 31 percent of children ages 10-17 overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity; it increases risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, is estimated to decrease a person’s lifespan by an average of 2-5 years, and it leads to significant economic costs to the individual and our state.
How we’re changing things:
The Healthy Schools Healthy Communities initiative supports partnerships between schools and community organizations in order to make it easier for kids to eat healthy and be active. Today there are 13 HSHC collaborations across Missouri creating healthy opportunities for kids in the classroom, on the playground, at home, and throughout the community.
A 5 percent decrease in the percentage of children who are overweight or obese in targeted school districts as measured by the BMI-for-age percentile.