Dear ACE Family,
I love the month of September, but it always seems to catch me off guard. Just as I’m getting used to the long summer days and heat, it’s suddenly fall—football season is starting up and children head back to school.
September is also National Childhood Obesity Month, and it’s critical that all of us in the ACE Family do our part to emphasize the importance of physical activity for children. This could mean volunteering to coach a youth soccer team, keeping fresh fruits and veggies out for your kids and their friends, or simply taking the family out of the house for a day in the park.
It’s especially important now, because schools around the country have continued to pare back physical education programs, even as childhood obesity has skyrocketed. Currently, only six states require physical education in every grade, only 20% of school districts require daily recess, and 2 out of 3 kids are inactive.
Not surprisingly, one-third of children in America are affected by excess weight or obesity, putting them at increased risk for asthma, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and heart disease. If we don’t overcome this problem now, experts predict, one-third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives.
Our children deserve to feel excited and inspired by physical activity, and to feel the joy that comes from vibrant good health. And we can help them get there.
That’s why ACE is a proud sponsor of the Let’s Move! Active Schools #0to60 campaign, which is part of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. The purpose of the program is to help ensure that our children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every single day, before, during or after school. We believe this can go a long way in reversing the inactivity epidemic among children and teens. Plus, studies have shown that active kids demonstrate improvements in attendance, behavior and focus, and achieve higher test scores.
Now let’s get people moving.
President and CEO