Mayor’s Office and JLB Combine Efforts to bring NObesity message to Children

Alabama has been rated as having the second deadliest diet in the nation. Interestingly, the top reasons weren’t buttermilk biscuits or pork, as one might expect (if we’re gonna be fat, shouldn’t it be due to some delicious food?), but  rather soft drinks, sweet snacks, fast food and a paucity of grocery stores. Consider that we often eat our food in haste or seated in front of a screen, and you can see why we suffer such high rates of obesity and diabetes.

Our kids’ health reflects these patterns.  The Junior League of Birmingham is encouraging healthy lifestyle habits in children, starting with the 5K for Kids – Small Steps to End Childhood Obesity. This is a community-wide event scheduled for Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Legion Field in partnership with Mayor William Bell and the Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services.

Family-friendly festival events will begin at 7 a.m. and the 5K run (from Legion Field to Princeton Hospital and back) will be held from 9 to 10  a.m. A free Fun Zone will be set up at Legion Field, including free health screenings and the Division of Youth Services’ Youth first Nobesity* Expo. A 1-mile Fun Run will begin at 10 a.m.

Register for the 5K via the Junior League of Birmingham website ($20 per runner 18 and older; $10 per runner 17 and younger) or www.active.com. Proceeds from the registration will be used to provide supplies and other items to West End elementary schools.

In the weeks prior to the run, Junior League volunteers are visiting six West End schools to share a curriculum emphasizing healthy eating, portion control, and the food pyramid. By establishing healthy lifestyles now, perhaps the next generation of Alabamians can remove us from “deadliest diet” lists and vault us to recognition for wellness.

*If “unfriend” was the official new word of 2010, I vote “nobesity” as the new cool word for 2011.