On the journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency, families must overcome a multitude of social, economic, and environmental obstacles that negatively impact the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their children.
Children living in shelters are especially vulnerable to becoming overweight or obese as they often lack access to healthy foods, nutrition education, and opportunities to participate in physical activity1. Overweight and obese children experience higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, social stigma, poor self-esteem and body image, depression, and lower academic performance2.
Fit2Change was formed to join the fight against the deadly epidemic of childhood obesity among at-risk and homeless children. Fit2Change aims to spread awareness of this health crisis and significantly reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity throughout Maryland. Through our innovative fitness and nutritional programs, we will help children avoid obesity by educating and encouraging healthy habits and behaviors.Mission:
To reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity by bringing fitness and nutrition programs to at-risk and homeless children in Maryland.Vision:
Our vision is a downward trend in childhood obesity and obesity-related diseases among the populations of at-risk and homeless children by providing programs in shelters that teach healthy lifestyle habits .Our innovative nutrition and fitness programs will serve as a benchmark for other states to implement similar programs.Sources
Initiatives: Fighting Obesity and Hunger, low income and food insecure people vulnerable to obesity. Data query from the Food Research and Action Center website. Retrieved 9/22/2014 from www.frac.org. http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/why-are-low-income-and-food-insecure-people-vulnerable-to-obesity/
Initiatives: Fighting Obesity and Hunger, consequences of childhood overweight and obesity. Data query from the Food Research and Action Center website. Retrieved 9/22/2014 from www.frac.org. http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/what-are-the-consequences-of-childhood-overweight-and-obesity/