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Play Every Day Campaign and Healthy Futures raises awareness for childhood obesity
ANCHORAGE, AK-In Alaska three out of 10 children are affected by obesity, and medical care costs attributed to obesity is close to a half of a billion dollars.
"We see more kids with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, which is a precursor to heart disease, so high blood pressure and high cholesterol," Karol Fink, Program Manager of Obesity Prevention and Control Program.
With numbers so high, in 2012, the Division of Health and Social Services launched the Play Every Day campaign encouraging kids to get out and be active for 60 minutes every day.
“Physical activity doesn't need to just be sports teams and adult led activities. Kids just getting out and playing in the yard, out in the streets, safe streets, at the playground or playing a pick-up game with their friends is what we're encouraging kids to do,” Fink.
They also partnered with Healthy Futures sponsoring a three month activity challenge for schools across Alaska. To be successful in the challenge students must keep a log of all physical activity they participate in- outside of school. It must be for three days a week for thirty minutes a day.
“I think realistically what we can hope for is that we're helping create a conversation around the importance of being physically active it's going to take a lot of work but a lot more than just a few more organizations to really change the culture,” Harlow Robinson, Executive Director of Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and Healthy Futures.
The program also offers incentives from small prizes to cash.