Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Month focuses on child wellness

By Senior Airman Erica Picariello

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

During the opening credits on a recently aired reality television program showcasing obese children, the participants are labeled as the, “first generation of kids who might not outlive their parents.”

This catch-phrase isn’t intended to shock and awe viewers into watching the show, infact, these children are an accurate representation of the average American child.

According to the American Dietetic Association, obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups in the past four decades. Consequently, President Obama decreed this September as the first National Childhood Obesity Awareness month.

Air Force officials recognize that the growing problem isn’t just outside the gate. During the “Year of the Air Force family,” Air Force bases put programs into place to create healthy culture among Air Force families through programs such as FitFamily and FitFactor.

FitFactor is an incentive program for kids and teens that aim at getting military youth eating healthy and active.

“The Air Force Airman and Family Services FitFactor program is intended to help stimulate interest and awareness of the importance of healthy choices in life for youth and teens while still having fun and earning prizes,” said Stephanie Moore, 50th Force Support Squadron. “To date, 22 Schriever youth have enrolled in FitFactor.”

While FitFactor’s goal is getting Air Force youth involved in a healthy lifestyle, the FitFamily program was created to guide the entire family.

“FitFamily is an Air Force, web-based, goal incentive program where families have the opportunity to set goals and monitor their progress,” said Seth Cannello, Schriever Fitness and Sports Center director. “Air Force Child and Youth Programs partnered with Air Force fitness centers to promote the importance of healthy lifestyle choices and encourage Air Force Families to be active together.”

The FitFamily program broadens the military’s focus to include children’s eating habits and activity patterns.

“The goal of the FitFamily program is for families to begin thinking about family wellness and ultimately incorporate healthy habits and lifestyles in all aspects of their lives,” Mr. Cannello said. “The FitFamily program encourages family members to get up, get out, and get fit — together!”

According to FitFamily officials, 3209 families and 11,460 individuals have registered to participate, logging 24.4 million points. Twenty Schriever families and 74 individuals have registered on the FitFamily website, logging about 604,700 points.

“By utilizing these Air Force programs, Schriever families took a united stand against childhood obesity together,” Mr. Canello said. “Programs like FitFactor and FitFamily spearhead President Obama’s challenge against childhood obesity and will hopefully help foster a healthy family environment for all Air Force families.”

For more information on FitFamily go to www.usaffitfamily.com. For information on the FitFactor program go to www.afgetfit.com.

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