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May 7, 2013 > Healthy Kids Fitness Expo

Healthy Kids Fitness Expo

Newark tackles childhood obesity

Submitted By Stacey Kenison and Edda Rivera, City of Newark Recreation & Community Services Department

Watching television, playing video games and the internet are some of America's favorite pastimes. People love to settle in and get absorbed in their favorite TV show, video game, or social media sites. But what is that actually doing for our health?

Childhood obesity is a nation-wide problem, hitting close to home in Alameda County - and in Newark. The Department of Education requires that all public schools conduct fitness testing among children in the 5th, 7th, and 9th grade each year. One part of the test is body composition measured either by a skin-fold test or by body mass index (BMI), a height-weight algorithm. Based on the Alameda County Public Health Department's "Health of Alameda County Cities and Places" article published in 2010, during the 2008-09 school year 29.1 percent of students in Alameda County were considered to be overweight. Closer to home, in the City Newark the rate of overweight children was 26.5 percent, in Fremont 21.7 percent, and in Union City 30.5 percent.

Kids learn by watching the people around them. If we spend an inordinate amount of time watching TV, our kids want to do the same. Sedentary activities can be damaging pastimes for children and lead to health issues, including childhood obesity.

The Joint Task Force on Youth Issues is demonstrating fun and healthy alternatives at the first-ever "Healthy Kids Fitness Expo" in Newark on Saturday, May 11. This event offers tools and information to help parents make informed decisions about their children's health and fitness activities.

This event will showcase local sports, nature, and outdoor recreation organizations that invite participants to get up, outside, and moving. Enjoy a rock climbing wall, slack lines, inflatables, and have lunch with your family at one of the gourmet food trucks selling healthy food. The entire family is welcome to visit the vendor fair with interactive booths hosted by local organizations providing activities and products that promote active, healthy lifestyles for kids. Raffles will be held throughout the day with prizes including skateboards, sports equipment, camping and fishing gear, outdoor games, backpacks and more. Two Grand Prize drawings will be held at the end of the day for a boys and girls bicycle donated by the Newark Police Officers Association.

"Our goal is for every person to leave the Healthy Kids Fitness Expo with new knowledge regarding nutritious eating, fun methods of exercise and new healthy products." said event organizer David Zehnder, City of Newark Recreation and Community Services Director.

Healthy Kids Fitness Expo, sponsored by Washington Hospital Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Cargill, Newark Recreation, Tri-City Voice, Climb On! and SSI Schaeffer, is open to everyone eager to maintain healthy habits and learn about living an improved lifestyle. For more information, please call (510) 578-4409.

Healthy Kids Fitness Expo
Saturday, May 11
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Silliman Activity Center Sportsfield Park
6800 Mowry Ave., Newark
(510) 578-4409

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