Wake Up Call from Childhood Obesity Expert

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Keynote speaker, Dr. Christina Economos, took the pledge to start a new healthy habit at the Wake Up with Weight of the Fox Valley event in March.

Contributors: Keren Rosenberg, Weight of the Fox Valley Program Manager and Kathy Moureau, Weight of the Fox Valley Program Assistant

Dr. Christina Economos, a nationally renowned expert on the prevention of childhood obesity, was the keynote speaker at the March Wake Up with Weight of the Fox Valley event.

Although Dr. Economos presented some hard truths about the growing prevalence of childhood obesity, she also recommended practical steps for instigating community-wide change. She said, “Communities can come together, they can bond, they can create change."

Her recommendations for Weight of the Fox Valley include:

  1. Join the New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race. Billion Mile Race is a national project to encourage physical activity at school by challenging students to walk, skip, and run one billion miles. There are currently over 4,600 schools registered for the Race, including four in the Fox Valley area – keep up the good work! If you would like to register your school, visit www.BillionMileRace.org.

  2. Consistently implement high quality School Wellness Polices. Wellness policies are an important tool for parents, local educational agencies and school districts to use when promoting student wellness. Many Fox Valley schools are working hard to implement current wellness polices.

  3. Reduce community-wide Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) availability and consumption – replace with water. SSBs include soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, tea and coffee drinks, energy drinks and sweetened milk. Dr. Economos emphasized during her presentation that SSBs have a major impact on childhood obesity. ChildObesity180 has developed an activity that schools and afterschool programs can use to teach children about sugar in common beverages.

  4. Serve child-size portions in every environment (childcares, schools, restaurants, home, etc.) Increase consumer demand for healthier children’s meals (no more than 600 calories). A local innovative initiative called SmartPlate is promoting healthy eating in restaurants. On their website, you can find local restaurants that serve healthy options for both kids and adults.

  5. Spread the message & advocate for change. Join one of our committees! Learn about Weight of the Fox Valley at www.weightofthefoxvalley.org or visit the WOTFV Facebook page.

Together we can make a difference!

United Way Fox Cities and Oshkosh Area United Way are providing direction and support for the Weight of the Fox Valley as the initiative works to build a community that achieves and maintains a healthy weight at every age.