Obesity in the United States is an epidemic- and has been for decades. Texas has the 8th highest obesity rate for youth ages 10-17 with 17.3% being obese. Childhood obesity results in extra health care costs; on average $12,900 more in medical costs than a child with normal weight and is also associated with poorer educational outcomes including a lower GPA, lower reading and math scores, and more school absences.
Teaching children how to live healthy is a good way to help them grow into healthy adults. Balancing Food & Play (3rd thru 5th-grade curriculum) was developed to address children’s health issues by developing lifelong healthy behaviors through nutrition, physical activity, and family engagement. The curriculum is based on the principles of the MyPlate Food Guidance System and the Social Cognitive Model; targeting early childhood health habits while providing youth the opportunity to learn about nutrition and physical activity in an engaging and exciting way, exploring creativity in the classroom, home kitchens, and playgrounds.
AgriLife Extension educators are trained on the program and then in turn train local teachers to implement it throughout the school day. All 20 lessons are available via the Teacher's manual and online virtual lessons are available for teacher use as well. Student journals and parent newsletters/assignments support self-reflection and family engagement. All components of the curriculum, including the online virtual lessons, are available in both English and Spanish.
More choices in Disease Prevention
The Texas 4-H Family & Community Health Program provides a variety of resources and opportunities to learn about nutrition, interior design, consumer education and more.
The 10-10,000 Change Challenge is a premiere program from the Family & Community Health unit to develop an active lifestyle that meets physical activity recommendations for general health and chronic disease prevention
Health Talk Express looks to raise awareness about chronic disease reduction. These programs challenge the audience to practice a health-promoting behavior to lower disease risk.
Scrub Up, Tune Up is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Family and Community Health Unit program with efforts in infectious disease prevention.
Better Living for Texans program provides research and evidence-based nutrition, health and wellness knowledge to empower individuals, families, and communities to make positive changes for healthier lives.