Arkansas – and our nation as a whole – is in the midst of an obesity crisis. Our current generation is predicted to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, and unless the trend is reversed, nearly 60 percent of today’s children will be obese by age 35. The consequences of obesity? Cancer. Diabetes. Heart disease. Dementia. All of which can lead to premature death.
Arkansas is in the top five states for obesity, with 35%+ of adults designated obese.
– Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
39% of Arkansas K-12 students were classified as overweight or obese during the 2016-2017 school year.
– Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, Assessment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity in Arkansas: Year 14
The Arkansas Heart Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization started in 2015 by Dr. Bruce Murphy, CEO of Arkansas Heart Hospital. In January 2018, Dr. Murphy and the foundation’s board of directors made the strategic decision to focus solely on helping Arkansas youth learn how to plan for health in their lives. Our foundation is now known as Champions for Health.
Educate, motivate and empower our youth to create a health revolution in Arkansas.
Inspire future generations to create a legacy of health in Arkansas.
A HEALTH REVOLUTION
Why are obesity rates so high? Because no one is teaching you or your children how to plan for health. You plan for many things in your life, including vacation and retirement, but are you making a plan to stay healthy?
“I feed my kids cheeseburgers, french fries and sodas, because it is easy and convenient. I feel guilty because I wouldn’t feed my dog this kind of food. He would get sick.” - A Central Arkansas mom
Your kids are getting sick. You just don’t know it yet.
What is a K-12 health revolution?
It is igniting a desire among our children to protect the most important element of their human capital – their health. YOU can join this revolution as we teach children how to plan for health in their lives.
CHAMPIONS FOR HEALTH PROGRAM
During the 2018-2019 school year, Champions for Health is adopting Morrilton Intermediate School, an elementary school with 500 students in the 4th through 6th grade, and over 50 adults on campus. We plan to create an environment of wellness that infuses health, nutrition education and fitness strategies throughout the entire campus.
Our ultimate goal? To create a replicable model for all K-12 schools across Arkansas as we fight to reverse the obesity epidemic.
The program plans to include:
Assessing student fitness levels through FitnessGram
Award-winning Spark PE curriculum
Providing personal health coaches to the teachers and adults on campus
Building a garden on campus
Learn-to-lunch programs for the teachers and students
Integrating nutrition education by training teachers on CATCH curriculum
Decision-making lessons and activities
Field trips to the Arkansas Heart Hospital garden
Cooking classes for parents and children
Adding healthy food options in the school cafeteria
“Schools have direct contact with more than 95% of our nation’s young people aged 5-17 years for approximately 6 hours per day and up to 13 critical years . . . When policies and practices are put into place to support healthy school environments, healthy students can grow to be healthy and successful adults.”
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Arkansas Department of Education
Arkansas Heart Hospital
Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Arkansas Children’s Research Institute
Conway County Extension Service
The Cooper Institute
Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Office
Morrilton Intermediate School Staff
10802 Executive Center Drive, Ste. 110
Little Rock, AR 72211