“Fit Kids 2020” outlines strategies to reduce childhood obesity

By on February 14, 2011

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department announced the release of “Fit Kids 2020 Plan,” a 51-page document that outlines the strategies required to reverse childhood obesity in Kane County over the next decade.

This document is the result of the work of more than 80 community members who worked over a period of six months, contributing more than 1,000 hours of volunteer time in nine sector-specific workgroups to develop the plan.

In Kane County, one in five kids is overweight, and in some communities that number is an alarming one in three kids. As these kids get older, they are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, suffer bone and joint problems, and suffer other serious health problems.

“We are recommending that all agencies and groups throughout Kane County adopt the relevant strategies outlined in this plan and adjust them to fit their needs so that we can work together to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Health Executive Director Paul Kuehnert.

“Fit Kids 2020” was developed by parents, physicians, engineers, educators, planners, public health professionals, transportation ex-perts, faith leaders, local policy makers and many more. “Fit Kids 2020” provides the framework to make the systems, environmental and policy changes needed to accomplish the goal by 2020.

“Fit Kids 2020” is made possible by the Making Kane County Fit For Kids Funders Consortium: The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, United Way of Elgin, the Kane Forest Preserve District, the Kane County Office of Regional Education and Kane County.

The “Fit Kids 2020” plan is available for download on the Making Kane County Fit For Kids Web site at www.makingkanefitforkids.org.

The plan
According to the plan, the Make Kane County For Kids strategies can be boiled down to 18 key points:

Local government can:
• Preserve green space and land for farming
• Develop community plans to
promote walking and biking
• Build infrastructure, such as sidewalks and
streets, that make it easier to walk and bike
• Set aside space for community gardens

Employers can:

• Offer programs and health benefits to
promote physical activity and better eating
• Adopt healthy food policies for
food served at meetings
• Provide Opportunities to be physically
active during the work day
Schools can:
• Achieve Gold Award Distinction for
Healthier U.S. School Challenge
• Promote walking and biking
• Build more physical activity
into each student’s day

Faith-based organizations can:
• Offer healthy foods at all community events
• Plant or sponsor a garden
• Take steps to make healthy food available
to those in need
• Create a health and wellness committee

Families can:
• Plant a garden
• Walk your child to school
• Play outside with your children
and grandchildren
• Take action in your community
to promote health