Young people are the future of the country and they have the power to create significant impact not only as they grow older, but also right now. Within the mission to solving childhood obesity, the youth of America play an important role in educating their peers and creating positive social change. So how do we motivate and organize young people to help in this important work? How do we access this spirited resource in an effort to create healthier kids?
Learn how to engage youth, teach them healthy living skills, and empower them as leaders for their communities.
Thousands of young people are already playing active roles in solving some of our nation’s most pressing issues, as researchers, organizers, activists, trainers, and educators. They serve as leaders in their communities and work alongside adults to create healthier places to live, learn, work, and play. Nearly 1 in 3 young people is overweight or obese, so why not position young people themselves to help solve the problem? Why not organize and inspire more young people to get involved and help each other be healthier individuals.
Teach Healthy Living
According to the CDC, nearly $147 billion per year has been spent on treating childhood obesity and related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. The growing rate of obesity must be reversed and young people are positioned to play a powerful role in this process. So how can we help young people get involved? Learning about living healthier lifestyles such as eating nutritious foods and getting exercise is essential. By teaching youth these principles, they are positioned to be influencers with their peers, families and others who will join them in living healthier lives.
Hold a Youth-Hosted Forum
In today’s digital world, young people are more connected than ever before and many are already raising their voices for social change on the web and in their communities. All they need is support from dedicated adults to help them share their stories and successes in an effort to inspire healthy changes for themselves, their schools, and their peers. By participating in a forum, youth learn important social competencies like decision-making, conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills, and also develop more positive self-esteem through a greater sense of purpose. The end result is empowered young people who are also working to create a healthier world.
Plan a Healthy Community Event
Community events that feature healthy activities can encourage youth to eat better and move more. Whether it is a community-wide event or a simple block party, these events are a great way to introduce healthy habits, reinforce health messaging and provide a safe and fun way for young people to be active.
We believe empowering youth is an essential element to improving childhood health. So we created a board on which they can sit and get their voices heard.
Youth Advisory Board
Our Youth Advisory Board is one of the only youth-led advisory groups in the country focused on childhood obesity issues. The 21 youth leaders play an integral role in advising and providing a youth perspective to the Alliance as we strive to encourage young people across the nation to make healthy choices. Board members also serve as national spokespeople for the Alliance speaking at local and national events, interviewing with journalists and health-education experts, engaging with community leaders, and addressing their peers.