Twin Cities Parents, Kids and Community Getting Healthy Together
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
– RICHARD BACH
Of all U.S. children, nearly one in every three are overweight or obese. Low-income children and those from communities of color and/or immigrant communities experience disproportionate rates of childhood obesity (Gopal et. al., 2010 & Trust for America’s Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011).
From First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to popular TV shows like The Biggest Loser, there isn’t a more high profile health topic today than obesity. But the question remains: can industry, government, schools, non-profit charitable organizations, research institutions and health care providers cooperate to create enough momentum to reverse this problem? The answer is yes, but only if we recognize that the crucial fuel for this coordinating change is the local community of families, friends and neighbors.
At Hennepin County Medical Center’s Taking Steps Together (TST) we believe successful lifestyle changes and healthier outcomes depend on the involvement of the whole family. Our program engages multiple generations from each family in weekly activities that celebrate healthy foods and physical activity and serves the low-income, racial/ethnic minority families most disparately affected by childhood obesity.
Through their volunteering, gardening groups, and Sporty Saturdays our families are building the most important element to the obesity solution: broad community will (engagement) and action.
The families of Taking Steps Together are turning this opportunity into real change and leading our community toward better health. We eagerly await to see where they will take us next!
John D. Anderson, MD and Rachel Newby, Contributors
Taking Steps Together
Hennepin County Medical Center