Aug 13, 2014 7:40 PM by Ashlea Bullington
Parks around Lafayette are getting a playground update.
The Lafayette Kiwanis Club received a one million dollar grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield to tackle the problem of childhood obesity in Lafayette. With that grant, Kiwanis members partnered with LCG to design "Activity Zones" in certain parts of town that were identified to be at the highest risk for childhood obesity. The areas declared highest risk are between Interstate 10 and University, as well as the Mccomb-Veazey area. Kiwanis Club members took parks already established in those areas and updated them with new "workout efficient" playgrounds.
The grant awarded to the Kiwanis Club in Lafayette is one of twelve given by Blue Cross Blue Shield in Louisiana.
Childhood obesity increases the chances of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, asthma, and can decrease one's life expectancy by five years. The American Heart Association says that one in every three children in the United States are now considered overweight or obese. Since 1980, obesity in children, ages six to eleven, has more than doubled. In adolescents, ages twelve to eighteen, the rate has quadrupled.
Parents are urged to encourage their child to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Health officials have proven that children who get at least 60 minutes of activity a day tend to eat less, weigh less, and are happier and healthier than children that do not.
This is why the Kiwanis Club used the funds to update parks with "Activity Zones". They hope children will get off their play stations inside and onto their new outdoor play stations.
The Activity Zones have two age-appropriate designs. One designed for ages 5-12, and the other for 13 and up. Parents are encouraged to use the "Activity Zone" with their children, because a healthy lifestyle is easier when it is a family affair.
The Kiwanis Club also has an activity log online that children can fill out. Each activity is worth points, and children can compete with their friends to see who gains the most.
To see if a new "Activity Zone" is by your home click here