Olympics Against Childhood Obesity

The Need

Children at risk for obesity are more likely to be low income and minority and have limited access to safe facilities and neighborhoods for physical activity. Safe, clean, and inviting places that encourage children to be active can make a significant difference in the fight against obesity.  Families from underserved communities have more difficulty purchasing the healthy foods necessary for a well-balanced diet, tending to load up on high-fat, high-calorie foods that are less expensive than fresh fruits and vegetables or protein-rich meats. Providing children with nutritional supports can help maintain healthy diets.

The Maryland Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan of 2006 - 2016, stated that in Maryland at least 65% of adults are overweight, while 30% are obese. Moreover, the epidemic is not limited to adults. Among children and adolescents ages 6 to 19, 16% are considered overweight. These trends lead many experts to predict that the current generation of children threatens to be the first in modern history to have a shorter life span than their parents’ generation.  Across all populations, children, adolescents and adults who are obese are at greater risk for various health conditions, such as coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. In addition, these individuals may face social stigmatization, discrimination and poor body image.

The Need

Olympics Against Childhood Obesity© program developed by the Diversity Leadership Institute is a sports-oriented, family awareness program focusing on the risks of childhood obesity for children ages 6 to 17.

The Need

  1. Collaborate with community-based organizations to plan, facilitate and implement all program activities

  2. Engage its current base of Promotores de Salud (Lay health workers) and provide them with training and information related to childhood obesity, its risk factors and control.  Promotores de Salud will be an active component of this project as they will:

    • Recruit local families and children;

    • Disseminate culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate information; and

    • Distribute educational materials and information beyond the event and into households

  3. Sponsorship opportunities

  4. Volunteering opportunities

  5. Development of a database - collect demographic information to develop a centralized databank that will serve as an outreach tool.
The Need

DLI will increase awareness of the seriousness of childhood obesity, its risk factors and potential strategies for preventing the disease and promoting healthy lifestyles through sports.  The Olympics will provide a platform for dialogue and an opportunity for diverse groups (health, education, business, etc) to unite and take action against childhood obesity.

The Need

Frederick Olympics Against Childhood Obesity© (FOACH)

The FOACH model was developed in 2009 by the Diversity Leadership Institute to address the growing need of childhood obesity in the Frederick, MD community.  FOACH is an outreach and awareness program engaging families and focusing on children ages 6 to17.  It provides sports activities to promote healthy lifestyles.  In addition, information and culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate educational materials are distributed to all participants.  It encourages participation from all community sectors increasing civic engagement and promoting volunteerism.

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