By: Daniela Vizcarra
Childhood obesity is on the rise across the country. According to the Child Policy Research Center, 30.6 percent of Arizona children ages 10 to 17 are obese or overweight.
Dr. Susan Wilder and local nonprofit organization Healthy LifeStars, are trying to help curb this childhood obesity epidemic in Arizona by hosting The LifeStar Challenge, a program that implements healthy lifestyle activities at more than 30 Valley schools.
Dr. Wilder, founder and CEO of LifeScape Premier and HLS advisory board member, has compiled a list of healthy lifestyle tips for kids in honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. These simple tips will help families and children stay active and healthy all year round.
- Sleep: Poor sleeping habits can lead to poor school performance. Start a daily routine that encourages quality sleeping habits.
- Breakfast: Every morning eat a nutritious and balanced breakfast. This ensures that blood sugar levels stay optimal until lunch and kids can stay focused during class.
- Activity: Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity. Daily activity promotes healthy weight, it ensures quality sleep and it will help keep kids stay focused in class.
- Sweets/ Processed Foods: Limit children’s consumption of unnecessary calories. Try to limit their sugar, fried and processed foods intake. These things can cause heart disease, liver inflammation and diabetes may develop at a young age. Offer children alternatives to these foods like all natural juices and veggies and fruit as snacks.
Next month, Healthy LifeStars will be hosting the 2nd annual StepUp4Kids walkathon October 16 to 23. The walkathon will raise funds so children can participate in The LifeStar Challenge free of cost. The LifeStar Challenge is a program hosted by HLS that implements healthy lifestyle activities at more than 30 Valley schools.
During the week long walkathon, people will log their steps daily. The top three adults, team and 25 children who walk the most steps will be recognized and awarded. Children 17 and under are free and adults 18 and older pay a $25 fee.
In conjunction with the walkathon, HLS will be hosting a fundraiser dinner. All proceeds from the dinner will also cover LifeStar Challenge participation fees. The fundraiser will be Wednesday, November 9th, at 5:30p.m. at the Harley Davidson of Scottsdale. The winners from the StepUp4Kids walkathon will be recognized at the event. The event will honor Dr. Susan Wilder, founder and CEO of LifeScape Premier and HLS advisory board member. Also in attendance will be honorary chair two-time Heisman trophy winner and former NFL running back Archie Griffin.
To learn more information about joining the HLS school program or to register for the walkathon and purchase tickets for the dinner, please visit healthylifestars.org.