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|Participate in the National PTA’s Healthy Lifestyles Month with TOPS|
|News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition|
|Written by Kimberly Greene|
|Tuesday, 01 November 2011 10:11|
MILWAUKEE, WI – With the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity and other health problems, it’s important that parents encourage and teach kids about nutritious food options and physical activity. The National PTA’s (Parent Teacher Association) Healthy Lifestyles Month this November is an opportunity to use creative events and activities to show that living healthfully can be fun. TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, provides advice to promote wellness at home and get involved with the PTA Healthy Lifestyles initiative.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Today, there are more video games, less homemade meals, and a reduction of physical education and sports programs at school – trends that have contributed to a growing problem of decreased physical activity among children. One in three children and adolescents are overweight or obese, and according to the American Diabetes Association, one in every 400 children has diabetes.
Although there has been an increase in childhood obesity, there has also been a rise in initiatives to temper this trend. Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, a program that TOPS supports, is one such plan that ties into the goals and message of Healthy Lifestyles Month.
It starts at home
It’s important to develop healthy habits at home, so children can go to school, friends’ houses, and other places, ready to make sensible, healthy choices.1. Physical activity – Get moving as a family and demonstrate to kids the necessity of exercise, which can also boost self-esteem and confidence and reduce stress.
• Take a group walk or bike ride around the neighborhood after dinner.
• Serve fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. Consider more unique snack ideas like homemade smoothies, a fruit salad, or vegetables and hummus dip.
There are numerous ways to become engaged at your child’s school. Joining your local PTA can help you and other parents impact what’s served at lunch, emphasize the importance of physical activity during the school day, and plan activities to promote health and wellness. Here are some PTA program and activity ideas that will keep families moving and promote wellness:
• Create a document for parents about physical activity areas and resources within the community.
TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded more than 63 years ago, TOPS is the only nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind. TOPS promotes successful weight management with a “Real People. Real Weight Loss.” philosophy that combines support from others at weekly chapter meetings, healthy eating, regular exercise, and wellness information. TOPS has about 170,000 members - male and female, age seven and older - in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. Membership is affordable at just $26 per year, plus nominal chapter fees. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.
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