About the Play Every Day Campaign
Obesity has become a major health problem for Alaskans, as well as Americans. Two out of three Alaska adults are now overweight or obese. About one out of three Alaska children are overweight or obese.
Obesity and related chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, put children’s health at risk. And these conditions can develop long before adulthood. Type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed more and more in children. Obese children also can develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health problems – while they are still kids.
Obesity is costly for Alaskans. Each year, obesity-related medical expenses cost about $459 million in Alaska. About 25 percent of that cost is paid with funds through Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Obesity Prevention and Control Program is committed to addressing the problem of childhood obesity.
In 2012, we launched Play Every Day to increase public awareness about the health risks of childhood obesity and the importance of physical activity to prevent and reduce obesity. Our goal is to promote and support physically active families and children. The department is a partner of Healthy Futures, which organizes and runs the Healthy Futures Challenge for elementary-age children. Together, we work with schools to promote the Challenge and ask parents to make physical activity a part of their family’s day.
Play Every Day will continue to focus on the health benefits of physical activity while also working toward reducing the consumption of sugary drinks and promoting water and fat-free or low-fat milk as the healthiest drink options for Alaska children and their families.
Please join us in encouraging Alaska’s kids to be as healthy as possible. Get out and play, every day.
For more information, contact:
Ann Potempa, Public Health Specialist
Karol Fink, Obesity Prevention and Control Program Manager
Dawnell Smith, Information Officer