If there is any single way of lowering the number of obese people in this country it has to be through educating kids when they are young so that they will lead healthy lives from the very beginning. One group that is trying to teach those healthy habits early is ChampionVillage.
From their website, their mission is:
Knowledge is Power! Knowing is a large part of doing. Our site will expose your child to hundreds of fun exercises as well as nutrition tips that will provide a solid foundation for their life. Most importantly, they will learn that health and nutrition are both manageable and fun.
This is really getting at the heart of the problem, and going about it in a great way. Just like everything else in life, kids need to be educated about being healthy. They need to know what eating healthy really is. They need to know how they can exercise as a kid. Maybe most importantly, they need to realize it is fun. Kids want to do what is fun, period. They don’t care if it is work, or healthy, or exercise as long as it is fun.
I have seen it a hundred times with kids of all ages, including my own: if I make it fun, they will do it. No one likes to clean up, but if you turn it into a game, kids will do it. What do we do when a kid doesn’t want to eat? Turn the spoon into an airplane and all of a sudden it is fun and many kids will eat it.
ChampionVillage follows the model of many social networking games by rewarding the player for exercising with virtual tokens. These tokens can then be redeemed for a variety of online rewards. What makes this especially great is the more they exercise they more points they earn so they will be motivated to do even more.
When you talk to people who are fit it is generally because they really enjoy what they are doing. Whether it is running, dancing, hiking, or skiing, people will do the things they enjoy. If we can make the connection in kids that exercising is fun, then they will be far more likely to continue that pattern for the rest of their lives.