With childhood obesity affecting 32 percent of Americas kids, their future risk of heart disease and stroke is a public health issue that must be addressed. Recently, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, reintroduced the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act or FIT Kids Act1, a bill to combat childhood obesity and improve student well-being by supporting and strengthening physical education programs in schools nationwide. The bill coincides with the release of a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM)2 stressing the importance of physical activity in school and recommending policies and programs to improve access and monitoring of physical education.
At Vitality we recognize the importance of making wellness a family priority. We also understand that busy, working families often lack the time and tools to help their children make healthier lifestyle choices. About a year ago, Vitality introduced the Vitality Kids Health Review (VHR), a clinically verified health assessment tool designed to help parents identify their childs current health status and lifestyle risk factors to get an instant snapshot of their overall health and well-being. The Review asks parents questions about their child in five key areas: body mass index (calculated based on height and weight), physical activity, screen time, nutrition and sleep. Based on the results, parents receive recommendations regarding activities their child can complete to stay healthy and earn Vitality Points.
The response is very encouraging.
To date (June 12, 2013), Vitality parents have completed the Kids Health Review for 17,129 children. The results revealed several areas in which parents can help their children improve:
- Eat more fruits and veggies
- Spend more time doing physical activity
- Watch less TV
- Get more sleep
And another thing: dont forget immunizations.
August is National Immunization Month. Its a good time to make sure your children, from newborns to college kids, have the recommended immunizations for their age group (especially before the new school year begins). Its another way to protect your kids health and earn Vitality Points when you do!