PRESTONSBURG – This school year, Highlands Health System and the American Heart Association are teaming up to encourage schools, students and parents throughout Eastern Kentucky to take youth health to heart. The efforts are part of the health system’s Youth Health Movement Sponsorship commitment to the American Heart Association over the next year, the first such sponsorship in the area.
Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate seen in the 1960s. The rise of obesity in childhood can cause a broad range of health problems that previously were not seen until adulthood, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. Excess weight at a young age has also been linked to earlier death rates in adulthood. The healthiest way to help children achieve a healthy weight is with gradual, permanent changes in eating habits and physical activity that are shared by the entire family.
“Highlands and the American Heart Association are working together to ensure the region’s children grow up to be healthy adults,” said Bud Warman, President & CEO, Highlands Health System. “With this program, we are providing the education and tools they need to stay active throughout their entire lives.”
The program features Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart programs, Life’s Simple 7 Challenge, along with community service projects, bystander CPR lessons, school health and wellness assemblies, and competitive donation drives, just to name a few. Any equipment, materials, and online curriculum needed for the activities will be provided by Highlands as well.
Highlands will kick off the program with the Professional Day (PD) Academy on Thursday at Allen Central High School. There, Highlands will present heart healthy information to the teachers of Floyd County.