West Virginia Taking “Action for Healthy Kids” to Local Level

August 28, 2003

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Responding to the national childhood obesity epidemic, West Virginia leaders in education, health and fitness have formed the state’s first Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) team, dedicated to making meaningful changes in nutrition and physical activity for schools in the Mountain State.  

The West Virginia team is one of 51 teams organized to support AFHK’s groundbreaking nationwide initiative. AFHK was launched at the Healthy Schools Summit in October 2002. The two-day Summit focused on developing strategies to promote better nutrition and physical activity in schools.  

West Virginia Department of Education started its own healthy child initiative last year by encouraging more physical activities everyday. Recipe for Success calls for children and parents, alike, to perform activities such as walking to school, if possible, taking the stairs, and eating healthier. Studies have shown the healthier a child’s body is, the healthier his or her mind. In California, SAT-9 scores showed an increase when a child became more physically active.  

“By bringing together experts from throughout the state in our Action for Healthy Kids team, we can assess the current condition of our schools and develop action plans we can take to the community to make improvements in nutrition and physical activity,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “Working as part of a national initiative helps to jump start efforts to curb both the overweight and undernourished, sedentary lifestyles that many of our students and their families face.”  

Launched in October 2002 as an outgrowth of the Healthy Schools Summit in Washington, DC, Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) operates under the umbrella of "Healthy Schools, Inc.," a non-profit organization established to further the goals of the Summit.  

More than 30 national education, health, fitness and nutrition organizations and government agencies are AFHK collaborating partners and serve as a steering committee providing guidance and expertise.  

To learn more about the Action for Healthy Kids, visit its website at www.actionforhealthykids.org.

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