It’s amazing what can happen in just a minute.
In fact, on September 26, when millions of kids participate in the JAM Challenge, 60 seconds is all they’ll need to break a world record. In an effort to quell childhood obesity, two organizations—Heal-E-tips and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation—have teamed up for the second annual Just-A-Minute Challenge. The program intends to encourage children across the U.S. to get active everyday, even if it’s just a minute.
With the state of childhood obesity reaching epidemic proportions, 60 seconds of movement could make a big difference. According to the CDC, more than one-third of children and adolescents in America are obese. In 1980, only 10 percent of our young people were overweight or obese. Statistically, children who are obese tend to stay obese throughout their lives, and are at great risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and low self-esteem.
The JAM World Record event aims to dramatically reduce those astonishing numbers. In 2012, 1.3 million children from 17,000 schools participated in the event, and this year the goal is 3 million. Exercise guru Patricia Friberg will be the JAM fitness leader for the nationwide event, and has released a video with NFL running back C.J. Spiller. It’s good to see the NFL getting involved in the childhood obesity fight, especially after the beastly burgers they endorsed last month.
There’s even a friendly competition between states to see who can get the most children involved in the world record event. West Virginia took last year’s crown after eight percent of the state participated (Ironic considering West Virginia is one of the unhealthiest states in the union, but hey, they’re trying!).
The JAM event is just the latest in a series of positive strides toward beating childhood obesity. School lunch reform, the Let’s Move campaign, and NFL Play 60 have all helped bring awareness to the epidemic in 2013. Though these national programs cost millions of dollars to execute, the inherent message is so simple. Our children need to unplug, get moving, and eat right. Whether you acknowledge it or not, our society grows ever more sedentary each year, and health organizations can’t control what happens in our homes, so the onus is on parents. Healthy habits have to be taught and executed in the home if we want a fighting chance.
To register for this year’s JAM World Record event, heard to www.jamworldrecord.org. (Registration is free and takes just-a-minute.)