Inspiring Action - A Leader’s Guide to helping kids lead the charge for a healthy community

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A Health Challenge for Everyone
Dear Teacher or Group Leader,
Passion. Excitement. Joy. These wonderful qualities make children powerful agents of change and inspiration. From seat belt use to environmental awareness, it has been proven time and again that young people have the ability to make adults rethink their actions...
Additional Tools
Weight of the Nation In May 2012, a four-part documentary series called The Weight of the Nation aired on HBO. Each segment featured case studies, interviews with our nation’s leading health experts, and conversations with individuals and families who struggle with obesity every day. HBO’s follow-up documentary series The Weight of the Nation for Kids premiered in May 2013 and shows extraordinary teens taking action to change themselves and their communities.

To watch the HBO films, visit iom.edu/weightofthenation. Plus, to learn more about America’s obesity crisis visit HBO’s The Weight of the Nation website theweightofthenation.hbo.com.

Plus try these resources from the CDC and NIH:

Victor's Garden
Read the Book
Discover the big changes that a small group can make when a community works together in this inspiring, original story. (Ages: 8 and up)

Downloadable Resources
Action Guide
Action Guide
Search this project-packed guide for ideas that you and your kids can use to inspire your entire community!

Action Guide
Planning Worksheet
Use this worksheet to plan your event or activity and identify who you want to reach and how you will know if you’ve succeeded!

Order a FREE classroom set of 30 copies of Victor’s Garden, plus the Action Guide!
INSPIRE ACTION AT SCHOOL AND AT PLAY

A Health Challenge for Everyone

It’s no secret that Americans are getting heavier. But what’s more worrisome is the effect of excess weight on kids. An overweight or obese person is someone who weighs more than is considered healthy for his or her height. From 1976 to 1980, 5 percent of adolescents ages 12–19 in the United States were obese.3 By 2008, that number had more than tripled.4 On top of that, 39 percent of obese children between the ages of 5 and 17 have at least two or more cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.5 Even more startling, a growing number of overweight kids are developing type 2 diabetes, a condition previously seen primarily in adults.6

Start a Movement

Learning how to eat well and be active is vitally important to all people, of all ages and body types. The key to facing this national challenge is to encourage your whole community to commit to healthy living through good food and regular physical activity.

Families, schools, community leaders, businesses, marketers, and the government all have important roles to play, but you have a secret weapon to help fight the battle: kids! Look around you: Elementary school children are creative and energetic. They’re also at a great age to learn what types of foods and portion sizes are healthy for them, and to learn why physical activity is so important.

This guide includes a wide variety of activities to encourage physical activity, food smarts, general health education, and an understanding of food marketing. Each activity is marked as *quick and easy, **bit of work, or *** long-term project to help you decide what’s right for your group.

Download the “Inspiring Action” Guide
INSPIRE ACTION AT SCHOOL AND AT PLAY

Dear Teacher or Group Leader,

Passion. Excitement. Joy. These wonderful qualities make children powerful agents of change and inspiration. From seat belt use to environmental awareness, it has been proven time and again that young people have the ability to make adults rethink their actions.

It’s time to harness that special energy once again.

Today, almost 69 percent of U.S. adults1 and nearly 32 percent of children and adolescents2 are either overweight or obese. Public health experts are calling obesity a health epidemic, and a problem that won’t go away on its own. It affects all of our communities and requires a fundamental change in how we approach food and physical activity.

The materials within this Leader’s Guide provide a variety of exciting ideas that we hope will inspire kids to help make changes in their lives, the lives of their families, and in their schools and communities. Whether they decide to meet with a school’s Child Nutrition Director to learn more about the new meal requirements or conduct a survey to see how many kids bike or walk regularly, there’s a great idea for every group or class.

Remember that little hands and small voices can make big changes.

Order a FREE classroom set of 30 copies of
Victor’s Garden, plus the Action Guide!