Christina Vanzandt, state coordinator of Action for Healthy Kids, drove from Florence to Jacksonville to speak to the Club. A former school teacher, Vanzandt now works to educate Alabama communities how to teach the state’s youngest residents to avoid obesity and to become healthy.
Action for Healthy Kids is a national non profit, which was started in response to former Surgeon General David Satcher’s call for action about childhood obesity, according to the organization’s website. Satcher is a Calhoun County native.
Vanzandt told a room full of about 25 attendees that there are specific strategies they can employee to encourage schools to help students stay healthy.
She said that community members must first learn about the issue. Quoting statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vanzandt also said the rate of obesity in Alabama, and across the nation, has increased steadily since the mid 1980s.
Second Vanzandt said community members must act by becoming involved at the local level. Third, she said they need to share what they learn about childhood obesity with other members of the community.
Following her information speech, which included a slide show, Kiwanis Club members asked questions and discussed recent changes to the school lunch program.
Among the audiance members were to Jacksonville City School Board members.