Childhood obesity is a growing problem nationwide, especially in Texas. The National Survey of Children’s Health says 21.3 percent of Texas children are overweight or obese, compared to the national average 16.1 percent. Children’s health and wellness has been a key issue for Junior Leagues across the nation since their founding in 1901. The Junior League of Lufkin is combating the rise of childhood obesity and health issues with programs, Camp Get Fit and Kids in the Kitchen, aimed to help children make healthier choices. Camp Get Fit and Kids in the Kitchen is held during the summer for kids entering 3rd-5th grades. The camp wrapped up last week at the Boys and Girls Club of Deep East Texas – Lufkin. Campers participate in cooking, exercise, and health awareness with a focus on the importance of making lifelong healthy choices.
According to Texas Health and Human Services, being overweight increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and other serious medical conditions that impact quality of life and have substantial economic consequences for our healthcare system. The increasing prevalence of overweight and obese children and adults is a serious concern for Texas. Angelina County ranks 193 out of 243 counties in Texas for overall health outcomes, and 243 out of 243 in health behaviors. The Camp Get Fit and Kids in the Kitchen programs are not just about learning tips for nutrition; they also emphasize healthier habits and encourage participants to have fun and stay active. The weeklong camp also provides an interactive week of fun for an underserved population that may not be able to experience these type of summer activities otherwise.
Camp Get Fit/Kids in the Kitchen incorporates life skills like reading a food label and preparing healthy snacks into a fun environment. Time is spent on integrating food and fitness into this week-long summer camp to emphasize the importance of healthy choices. This program is made possible with the support of the following partners: Changing Lives Dance Center, Brookshire Brothers, Tomé Catering, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas, The Coalition, Dollstar Dance & Fitness/Parks and Recreation with City of Lufkin, FITT LIFE, Dr. Crowley D.D.S., and Burke.
“It was a wonderful week at the Boys and Girls Club all made possible by the dedication of the Junior League of Lufkin committee members and our wonderful partners,” said Maci Herrington Dover, Junior League of Lufkin program chair for Camp Get Fit/Kids in the Kitchen.
The Junior League of Lufkin is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The League’s vision is to enhance the lives of children and women in the community through diverse projects and fundraising efforts.
Kids in the Kitchen is part of a national campaign of the Association of Junior Leagues International. Find our more here: http://kidsinthekitchen.ajli.org/ . To learn more about the Junior League of Lufkin, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit juniorleagueoflufkin.org or follow on facebook.com/juniorleagueoflufkin/.
- Ezra McMullin is a content and social media producer at MSGPR and attends Angelina College. He unwinds after a long day by playing XBox, telling himself he'll just play one more level before bed.