My idea to end obesity is inspired by my experience as a teacher/trainer/curriculum creator.
Most parents/teachers/care-givers of young children are not trained in movement nor how to manage stress internally and healthfully to maintain mind-body wellness. The result is that most young children do not get the recommended amount of supervised active play/physical instruction they need daily, nor learn how to self-care/self-regulate. Without a foundation of healthy physical activity and self-regulation habits laid in preschool, many children struggle, those who are overweight or obese stay that way and … we have a health/learning crisis.
My idea to end obesity is simple: Produce affordable, easy to use, totally fun, developmentally appropriate video enrichment classes taught by experts. Start with early childhood and then expand to elementary school. Why? To give parents/teachers a way to actually and immediately start to fulfill the Let’s Move mandate and the Head Start Health standards regardless of family/school limitations due to funding, work schedules, training, space, outdoor environment, weather, etc.
My idea to end obesity is in practice: As an educator with a production background, I have gone ahead and made 10 of these video classes, based on successful in-person classes, with personal funding. I know how to shoot them so they are engaging, how to script them so they are educational, how to choreograph them so they are empowering, and how to produce them within a budget. (And it helps that my husband is an award-winning TV writer/producer.) The few schools/families that use them describe them as fun, fantastic, kids love them, really helpful for movement and SELF!
My idea to end obesity is universal: Video classes work universally as healthy, educational playtime - at home, individually, and at school, in groups. They can be designed to serve diverse populations and specific needs. If promoted by health-minded organizations and available to the early childhood community (listed in activity resource sections of non-profit, parent and health websites, used in teacher/parent training and in family day-cares, Head Starts, community centers, donated to libraries, etc.), I believe they would be instantly and gratefully embraced. Video is currently considered a passive and health damaging medium because of how it has been used. Yet, it’s a format everyone knows and has and could easily be used to inspire activity, enhance health and end obesity. The fact that kids’ educational exercise/play video sales is the only segment of the video market still growing, attests to the success of video as a tool for improving children’s health and activity.
My idea to end obesity is sustainable: Production and manufacturing costs can be reduced and more readily recouped when making many “at once”. DVDs and support materials could be sold through both educational and mass market outlets. (Lakeshore, Kaplan, Excelligence, CM, toy stores, bookstores, amazon, etc.) These sales would support donations to populations in need.