INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana is one of 14 states that the national YMCA is targeting in an initiative to reduce childhood obesity.
Some of the potential projects for the states 45 YMCA associations are: creating safe walking routes to schools; increasing physical education and activity in schools; and improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables in some neighborhoods, the Indianapolis Star reported.
We want to look at examples of practices in healthy communities that are working and imitate them around the state, said Brent Wake, director of Healthy Living Initiatives for the state YMCA alliance.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions National Health and Nutrition Survey found that in 2010, 14.2 percent of Indianas children ages 2 to 5 were obese and 12.8 percent of those in grades 9-12 were obese.
The YMCA of the USA is giving the Indiana group $280,000 for two years toward the effort.
A 12-member statewide committee has been formed to direct the effort.
The chairwoman is Marcie Memmer, director of nutrition and physical activity for the Indiana State Department of Health.
The projects aim is to increase opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for children, Wake said.
That can be done through working with schools, community organizations, after-school program providers and child-care providers.