Across the United States, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Today, more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. South Carolina specifically has the second highest percentage of obese children in the nation. And, Greenville County has a higher obesity prevalence rate among children than the state prevalence rate.
While childhood obesity has many causes, healthy behaviors – including healthy eating habits and physical activity – can aid in the prevention of obesity and reduce a child’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease, pre-diabetes, cancer, and other debilitating health conditions. To address this health crisis, programs that focus on improving children’s lives through healthy eating are making a positive difference in the health and well-being of children in their communities – and they are being noticed!
Canyon Ranch Institute (CRI), the 501(c)3 non-profit public charity that catalyzes the possibility of optimal health for all people by helping educate, inspire, and empower every person to prevent disease and embrace a life of wellness, partnered with Canyon Ranch, the world-renowned health and wellness company, to develop the CRI Healthy World Scholarship program. The scholarship program is in its second year and is designed to create lasting change in the health and well-being of children in low-income communities. For 2016, the program sought applications from interdisciplinary teams collaborating across systems and organizations to improve children’s lives through healthy eating.
We are honored that New Impact: A Healthy Lifestyles Program, an innovative program developed by GHS Children’s Hospital, is one of the four recipients of this very competitive scholarship.
New Impact is a healthy lifestyle and nutrition program for families. In addition to providing access to a variety of health care professionals who can help improve physical well-being, New Impact also offers educational and psychological support to ensure children are set up for success in creating healthy lifestyles.
New Impact is a collaborative effort between the GHS Children’s Hospital and the YMCA for program delivery and with Clemson University for program evaluation and effectiveness research. These partnerships are key to increasing success of New Impact helping families and combating health disparities in childhood obesity.
In July, members of the New Impact team will travel to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, where we will meet with thought leaders in fitness, health literacy, integrative health, nutrition, partnership development and sustainability, and public health. The goal is that the team will return home with new experiences and knowledge that will strengthen their collaborative efforts to improve the lives of children in Greenville and across our area.
Read the news release to learn more about the CRI Healthy World Scholarship program and recipients, and visit canyonranchinstitute.org for more information about CRI. For more information, visit GHS or GHS Children’s Hospital.