Running a marathon for a cause…an important cause…

Action For Healthy Kids - Chicago Marathon
Action For Healthy Kids – Chicago Marathon

Back when the Chicago Marathon first opened up for people to register, I got in with no problem.  In and out.  All before the collapse happened and many people were left to the mercy of the Chicago Marathon’s first ever lottery system.  But…I got to thinking.  Sure, it’s great that I felt compelled to take on a longer distance and really test my endurance, my stamina, my body, my mind, my entire soul for that matter.  But why just run for myself?  Why not run for a cause?

So…I chose to join a charity team.

My chosen charity – Action For Healthy Kids.

Never heard of it?  Well, let me tell you, this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.  And I am proud to be a member of Team Healthy Kids.

Simply put, the childhood obesity epidemic has sparked alarm among parents, educators, health professionals and others in recent years.  More than 30% of American children are obese or overweight.  This is triple the number than in 1980.  Believe it or not, only 8% of elementary school students and 6% of middle school and high school students have daily PE at school.  My gym class used to be a requirement when I was in school.  This statistic is shocking.

Are you aware that 35% of school-age children watch an average of 5 or more hours of TV on a school day?  My parents wouldn’t let us watch television on school nights unless it was PBS, and only after homework was complete.

And, the kicker in all this is that overweight kids miss school 4 times as much as normal weight kids.  The result is that if children are not in school, they can’t learn.

Childhood obesity is a scary thing, and in this age of technology, video games, television shows, movies, and computer time keep kids sedentary more than ever.  But there are so many risks that come with childhood obesity.

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes

So what does Action for Healthy Kids do to help prevent the growing number of children who are considered obese in America?  Simply put…they educate them and and help teach them the importance of activity, exercise, and nutrition.  Action for Healthy Kids was founded in 2002 by the 16th US Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D, with the goal to address the childhood obesity epidemic by transforming schools into healthier places.  By working with schools, this organization is giving kids the keys to health and academic success by providing them with fun physical activity and nutrition programs that make it possible for them to eat nutritiously and play every day.

Action for Healthy Kids educates school leaders, public health officials, parents, students and other network members to increase their knowledge of nutrition and wellness in schools.  They work to mobilize schools, parents, and volunteers to install programs and services which will promote a healthy lifestyle and wellness policies for children in schools.  And they help transform schools to provide healthy foods, quality healthy, physical education and comprehensive physical activity for all students.

Please join me in supporting Action for Healthy Kids to provide even more of these programs in schools throughout the United States next year.  With your help, Action for Healthy Kids will provide necessary resources, programs, and volunteers to help schools build wellness programs that succeed.  Childhood obesity can end…and it starts with your support.

Please take a moment to visit my First Giving donation page and donate today.  A gift of any size will make a difference.

And if you want to know more about Action for Healthy Kids, visit their Web site:

Thank you so much for your support and all you do to make our youth healthy and active.

Karen J. Brady

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