Florida A&M University Student Writer
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – The non-profit organization, Wholistic Growth for Generations launched its first campaign promoting awareness of obesity for the Florida A&M University community.
The event was held at the Hansel E. Tookes Recreation Center on Saturday September 28, 2013 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. It was open to FAMU students as well as community members who all came out to learn about the growing epidemic of obesity among minorities from guest speakers. Guest also participated in health screenings, provided by Bond Community Health Center and the FSU College of Medicine, and different physical activities such as Zumba and three on three basketballs tournaments.
Kraig McHardy, CEO of WGG and FAMU alumni says seeing how kids are more preoccupied with electronics than physical activity is what promoted him to address the issue.
“We first created an online sports magazine dealing with sports; predominantly basketball, but then we started seeing now how lazy kids were becoming and then we incorporated the obesity awareness component,” McHardy said. “Growing up we were always outside playing and we need to get kids back into more physical activities. We want them to get fit, stay fit and try to be as healthy as they can be in a holistic way.”
According to the Food Research and Data Center, national data shows that 82.1 percent of Black women and 75.7 percent of Hispanic women are overweight or obese compared to 59.5 percent of White women.
The event not only stressed the trend of obesity among adult minorities, but also among children. Kimberly Grant, director of education services for WGG says as an educator getting kids active is important. “I see how students are not into physical activity and I keep seeing them get bigger,” Grant said. “We are trying to get them to commit to getting involved in exercise.”
In reference to FRAC, about a quarter of 2–5-year-olds and one-third of school-age children, including adolescents, are overweight or obese in the U.S. Based on recent national figures, 25.6 percent of White girls are overweight or obese compared to 41.3 percent of Black and 38.6 percent of Hispanic girls.
About 40 percent of Hispanic boys are overweight or obese, compared to 36.9 percent and 30.1 percent of Black and White boys, respectively. Rates are the highest, and very alarming, for 12-19 year old Hispanic boys; 42.9 percent are overweight or obese and 12-19 year old Black girls; 45.1 percent are overweight or obese.
Intern for WGG, Latoya Benjamin, says the organization plans to further spread its message to young children. “To raise awareness about obesity among the youth we have magazines that will be passed around to elementary-high school students with healthy eating tips as well as nutrition education,” Benjamin said.
Adults and children alike both had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Inspirational Speaker, Kristy Kennedy, who discussed the importance of having a healthy mind. “Before you can take on nutrition, before you can take on a healthy lifestyle you have to have a healthy mind,” Kennedy said. “I believe because of my own personal experiences that the mind has to be conditioned for success in order to achieve it.”
WWG will continue to matriculate throughout the state of Florida spreading its message on obesity in cities such as: Stuart, Jacksonville and Miami. For more information or for interested volunteers please contact Program Assistant, Sarah Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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