Over the past decade, Lexington Family Magazine has championed numerous family issues but none as much as fitness and nutrition.
In fact, for our 15th anniversary, three years ago, I vowed to lose 15 pounds as part of our year-long Fit Family Challenge project.
As we planned for that series, our first call went to Anita Courtney, chairperson of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, which is a community-wide effort to create healthy food and physical activity environments for Lexington tweens.
As expected, Anita offered invaluable guidance. That’s why when we read recently that after years of ballooning obesity Americans were actually eating fewer calories, our first call again went to Anita.
“This is really good news and shows that slowly things are starting to pay off,” she said. “The downturn in calorie intake is a first step down a long road to better nutrition.”
That’s especially important in Kentucky where our state has ranked near the bottom in the country in obesity.
But people in Lexington can be proud that the Coalition’s initiatives to educate families about diet and exercise have shown progress.
Anita points to three major projects that have helped shift the food and exercise culture in our community – the VERB Summer Scorecard, Drink Water First and Better Bites.
Parents can play a crucial role in pushing this encouraging trend forward, according to Anita, who offered the following suggestions:
–Kids will follow your lead so avoid sugary drinks.
–Make sure healthy food and snacks are available at home.
–Set limits on serving sizes and sweets.
–Help your children find physical activities they enjoy.
To support parents, educators and others who deal with children, the Tweens Coalition has created helpful tools on the web.
Visit www.wecanky.com and http://drinkwaterfirst.org.
Both are loaded with educational material and lots of helpful tips.
Check it out. The only thing you have to lose is some unwanted flab.