Grant helps East Tennessee Children's Hospital fight obesity

Grant helps East Tennessee Children's Hospital fight childhood obesity

Posted:
The $200,537 check from Blue Cross Blue Shield will help expand Children's early childhood health program in local schools. The $200,537 check from Blue Cross Blue Shield will help expand Children's early childhood health program in local schools.
The 12-week program uses activity-based play to teach preschoolers about good nutrition and the importance of physical activity. The 12-week program uses activity-based play to teach preschoolers about good nutrition and the importance of physical activity.
The program also hosts nutrition and exercise education classes for parents and teachers. The program also hosts nutrition and exercise education classes for parents and teachers.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new grant is helping East Tennessee Children's Hospital in its fight against childhood obesity.

The $200,537 check from Blue Cross Blue Shield will help expand Children's early childhood health program in local schools.

Blue Cross Blue Shield presented the grant Tuesday morning at Partners for Children, which is one of the four area preschools that has already implemented the Early Childhood Nutrition and Fitness Education Program.

The 12-week program uses activity-based play to teach preschoolers about good nutrition and the importance of physical activity.

Children's, though the Knoxville Area Coalition on Childhood Obesity, launched the program back in November in response to the recent childhood obesity epidemic.

They believe they can combat the problem by teaching children about living a healthy lifestyle early on.

"Everything that we teach is very hands on, so if we're talking about vegetables, then they'll be a picture of them, and they get to taste vegetables and they get to dissect vegetables," said Kindall Aaron, coordinator of the Knoxville Area Coalition on Childhood Obesity.

Aaron says they are already seeing a big impact in the three and four-year-olds currently in the program, especially when it comes to trying new, healthy foods thanks to weekly taste tests.

"They get to have it as a taste test, then they're going home and asking their parents to buy it at the grocery store," said Aaron.

"My child has brought home so much knowledge that we're actually changing the way that we're eating at home," said Ashley Fuell, whose son Evan, 4, is in the program at Partners for Children.

Blue Cross Blue Shield hopes their grant can help create lifelong effects for these preschoolers.

"There are so many conditions that can arise later in life from poor nutrition and inactivity, so anything we can do that really promotes that, especially in young people and the people are who are raising them, we think is going to have a lasting impact," said Scott Pierce, senior vice president with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

By July 2015, the program will be expanded to 20 preschools in Knox and Sevier counties

Exactly which preschools the program will be launched in is still being decided.

Children's says they will be determined based on which ones have a populations at high risk for childhood obesity.

The program also hosts nutrition and exercise education classes for parents and teachers.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.