A call to action for the well-being of all American youth through effective health education programs

The obesity epidemic is a growing concern, particularly among young people, with an alarming increase of 41.9% between 2017 and 2020, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2021). The implications of this surge are profound, extending beyond personal well-being. to the broader healthcare landscape. Obesity-related conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, have led to premature and preventable deaths. The economic burden is just as great, with annual medical costs exceeding millions.

These statistics above highlight the urgency of addressing the root cause of the problem among America’s youth, who are often misinformed about the principles of a healthy lifestyle. Health education is often neglected in schools, leading to students receiving unnecessary or overwhelming information. This lack of attention to a healthy lifestyle leads to a lack of understanding and responsibility among young people.

According to Ashton Tate, founder of Glory to Glory Fitness, many people think health education is just about getting kids to move or eat well in class, but it doesn’t prepare them to adopt those habits consistently. . This results in a short-term approach in which health education focuses on one class, one teacher, one year, or one semester, leaving students without framework or practice beyond that.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 American children were overweight or obese in 2018, and that number increases each year. Tate advocates for a transformation framework focused on Functional fitness, optimized nutrition, rest, recovery and maintenance (SHAPE) as pillars of a healthy lifestyle. This health framework aims to equip students with practical skills and habits, going beyond the limitations of traditional and isolated health education. The program is designed to help students develop the right mindset towards health and set lasting goals.

The Glory to Glory Fitness FORM program is a turnkey solution, which is simple and accessible to all instructors who use it. By leveraging technology, teachers can implement the curriculum on various devices, ensuring widespread adoption. Teachers benefit from support all year round to resolve any problems they may encounter. The program is designed in a way to impart knowledge to teachers that will further guide students in creating and maintaining healthy habits throughout their lives.

Tate emphasizes the importance of cultivating healthy habits early on, noting that the current approach often leaves individuals ill-prepared for the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as an adult. The program encourages teachers to actively participate, fostering a collaborative environment where students and educators work together to promote well-being.

Glory To Glory Fitness has also designed additional “challenges” that teachers can use as engaging lessons. One of them is called the Fuel Challenge, which outlines the nutrients children need to consume each meal. This framework helps children understand the importance of good nutrition from a young age, providing them with an appropriate, clean and good quality source of nutrients. A community is built around this, helping children maintain these goals.

In assessing the state of health education, Tate expressed concern about the prevailing issues. He noted, “I looked at health education and felt like we weren’t getting to the root of the problem. Fixing the problem seemed to be a recurring cycle, having to intervene when individuals reached their 50s or 60s without being taught the right way to live a healthy lifestyle.

Teaching health and fitness principles in physical education classes during brief sessions each week allows students to learn practical skills for everyday life. In Tate’s words: “It’s not just knowledge, it’s action and application that counts.” » He suggests that schools move more away from books and focus on practical applications, ensuring that students have the essential knowledge and skills for today’s world. Tailoring education to individual needs is essential to help students thrive in their future healthy lifestyles.

Reflecting on his personal journey as a 300-pound prediabetic child, Tate shared his insights, saying, “This is information I wish I had learned when I was a kid. Looking back, especially given the difficulties I faced, it was this knowledge that would have had a significant impact on me.

Glory’s commitment to Glory Fitness goes beyond financial gains. Tate envisions the program being accessible in all schools across the United States, particularly benefiting low-income communities. As the business grows, there is an aspiration to create scholarships and fundraising initiatives, ensuring that nutrition and essential resources are made available to those who need them most.

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