Everyday, in America, the percentage of children categorized as overweight or obese climbs to new heights.
In fact, today most experts agree that American childhood obesity levels have reached epidemic heights. This health epidemic manifests itself through the following statistics:
>1 in 2 overweight children is already showing early signs of type II diabetes (impaired glucose intolerance).
>60% of overweight children already have one risk factor for heart disease.
>An estimated 45% of childhood diabetes cases are type II, associated with obesity.
>85% of children diagnosed with type II diabetes are obese (have a BMI of 30+).
>Childhood obesity costs the American tax payers an estimated $127 million, annually.
Source: Wellness International Network
America’s Childhood Obesity Crisis
So, what are we, as a nation, and our esteemed lawmakers doing to combat this national health epidemic? Collectively, nothing!
We are too busy looking for short-term ways of cutting costs by eliminating physical education and after-school recreational programs. We have accepted the lack of these programs as the norm and we’ve stopped thinking about the long-term effects of these short-sighted solutions on our children’s overall well-being and our nation’s financial health.
The good news, however, is that there are still those amongst us who remember what it felt like to simply play outdoors and they want to share that joy with those children who have been robbed of the simple joy of playing outdoors due to budget cuts.
Project Fit America Brings Back Playtime
Project Fit America is just one example of concerned citizens banding together to bring back playtime. In fact, Project Fit America is so dedicated to bringing back playtime that it has worked with Craig Cunningham, a UCLA professor, who has planned playground sites since 1963, to design a new set of playground equipment exclusively for PFA to donate. This equipment is specifically designed to address all the areas where children fail fitness tests: upper body, lower body, abdominal strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. PFA will install this freestanding structure of seven workout areas permanently on your school grounds.
Project Fit America, a national public charity, will do all this for your school because its ultimate goal is to combat childhood obesity one school at a time. This grassroots charity works with schools and educators to simply create new opportunities for kids to discover the joys of an active lifestyle through play. The volunteers of Project Fit America work hard to provide schools with funding, equipment, teacher training, curriculum and other resources they need to foster in their students the desire to lead healthy lifestyles. Today, the hard work of the hundreds of dedicated volunteers behind Project Fit America is being recognized and validated by parents, teachers, medical professionals, powerful officials and most importantly, the kids who benefit from the program.
The key to the success Project Fit America has enjoyed in over 700 school districts and 40 states across the nation lies in the fact that this organization does not intrude on any given school. Instead, this organization allows each school to design its own program using what they feel best suits their school plan and teaching objectives. Once the school has established a plan, Project Fit America steps in and supports the implementation of the plan academically. The sponsors of this organization, which are mostly hospitals and health care organizations, support the school plan financially. This is all accomplished through another program called the Custom Grant Program. Project Fit America launches this program in the fall and spring of each year.
So, how can you bring Project Fit America to your school? Simply fill out this form and tell PFA why your school needs or wants its help.
- The following video features a community playground built by Project America. Notice how the equipment is built low enough to be useful and safe for small children. Yet, adults can also use the center as an outdoor gym.