The Issue: Childhood Obesity and Poor Nutrition
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not only are obese children more likely to be obese as adults, they also face immediate negative health effects, such as prediabetes, high blood pressure, and poor self-esteem.
The Campaign: Implementing the Fit by 5 LA Program
If this Grassroots campaign raises $1,000, then Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) can implement its Fit by 5 LA program at one area preschool. Each additional $1,000 raised will be used to implement the program at another Los Angeles-area preschool. To help combat the growing obesity epidemic, LAUP created Fit by 5 LA through a partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in 2010. With a plan in place, the organization is now working to implement the program across its entire network of preschools.
The program's ultimate goal is to decrease the behaviors and practices that contribute to childhood obesity. To do this, Fit by 5 LA helps ensure that children develop the necessary skills and knowledge to make smart choices about their health and to eat nutritious foods in the home. Working with teachers and parents, program facilitators promote healthful eating habits, increased physical activity, and knowledge about where food comes from. Possible classroom activities and lessons include gardening for preschoolers, tips for picky eaters, portion control, and nutritious food and beverage choices.
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Los Angeles Universal Preschool
Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) aims to make high-quality preschool education accessible to all children in Los Angeles. LAUP supports more than 320 preschools across the county with grants used to cover the costs of student tuition and supplement teachers' salaries and educational materials. In addition to monetary support, LAUP's early-childhood educators work in classrooms to assist teachers in enhancing program quality and to ensure that preschools are engaging parents to be their children's primary teachers. These specialists also work with preschools on specific developmental needs of children and their families, such as obesity prevention and children with special needs.