MDCH Announces Before and After School, and Summer Program Obesity Grantees

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2012

LANSING - To help address childhood obesity in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has selected 10 agencies for a pilot program to improve physical activity and healthy eating for children in kindergarten through grade six in school programs that take place before school, after school, and in the summer. This program aligns with strategies outlined in the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan which contains Michigan's priorities for obesity prevention over the next five years.

"Obesity now affects 17 percent of children and adolescents - triple the rate from just one generation ago. What's even more troubling is that today's children may be the first in history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents due to being overweight and obese," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "I commend these agencies for their dedication to working with children and look forward to watching their progress as we work together to reduce childhood obesity."

These grants will help school and community programs improve the health of children by increasing physical activity, providing nutrition education and offering a safe place to play and exercise during the grant period that will extend through Sept. 30, 2013.

MDCH issued a total of $915,000 in grant funding to the following awardees to assist youth in increasing daily physical activity, providing nutrition education, and improving healthy eating choices through school programs that take place before school, after school, and in the summer:

  • ACCESS
  • Ann Arbor Public Schools 
  • Cadillac Public Schools 
  • City of Wayne/Westland Parks & Recreation Center 
  • Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan 
  • Okemos Public Schools/Playmakers Fitness Foundation 
  • YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids 
  • YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo 
  • YMCA of Marquette County 
  • YMCA/Ypsilanti and Willow Run

"Childhood obesity is the result of eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity. Children who are obese after the age of 6 are 50 percent more likely to be obese as adults," said Dr. Dean Sienko, Interim Chief Medical Executive at the MDCH. "We must work with children in a variety of settings to improve healthy behaviors. Getting them on a healthy path early in life is critical to helping them shape a healthy future."

For more information about the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan and related resources, visit www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan.

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