United Way of Fulton County announces the expansion of its Crunch Out Obesity program to all seven Fulton County school districts this school year.
The Crunch Out Obesity program is taken to schools as a strategy to change the tide on the growing health concern. The program is conducted in the fourth grade physical education class, where United Way provides the teacher with all the tools necessary to teach their students how to use a stability ball as a fun way to stay physically active.
The six-week program teaches the students how to use the stability ball and includes an opportunity for the student to teach family members at home how to exercise with the stability ball. Fourth grade students receive their own ball to take home and keep, as well as an exercise instruction book.
The most recent county health assessment revealed childhood obesity rates in Fulton County are higher than both state and national rates. Released in December of 2016, the assessment also revealed that over 30 percent of Fulton County youth are considered overweight or obese. In light of this data, local health officials have identified obesity as a priority area of concern in their Community Health Improvement Plan.
The Crunch Out Obesity curriculum was developed by students at Ashland University. Students at Kenyon College have studied the outcomes of the program. Locally, United Way of Fulton County will rely on data collected from weekly journals that the student’s complete and long-term outcomes will be monitored through future county health assessments.
Crunch Out Obesity is funded in part by Fulton County Job and Family Services and by the Fulton County Health Center. The program is currently taking place in physical education classes at Archbold, Evergreen, Fayette, and Wauseon elementary schools. Delta, Pettisville, and Swanton elementary schools will hold their program after the holiday break.
For more information, contact Gina Saaf or Tante Lovins at 419-337-9606.