First-Ever National Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards Developed for Afterschool Programs

To: FAMILY, HEALTH AND NATIONAL EDITORSContact: Mamie Moore, YMCA of a USA, +1-312-419-8325, Mamie.Moore@YMCA.NETComprehensive guidelines from a Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition help ensure healthier snacks and more active playtime for 8 million young kids in out-of-school programsCHICAGO, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, a Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition (HOST), comprised of leaders in out-of-school time care and illness promotion, brought together by a National Institute upon Out-of-School Time (NIOST) during a Wellesley Centers for Women during Wellesley College, a University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) and YMCA of a USA (Y-USA), announce a first-ever extensive national nutrition and earthy activity standards for out-of-school programs for young kids in grades K-12. The new guidelines are a latest tool in a fight against childhood obesity and a step in promoting healthy options for a more than 8 million young kids that participate in out-of-school programs during least three hours a day, according to statistics from a HOST Coalition. The new standards are a result of a extensive research project funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Over a course of a year, HOST conducted a national online survey of more than 700 out-of-school programs across a country, and examined best practices and existing standards and guidelines for providing healthy eating and earthy activity opportunities. The survey included participation from many local Ys, one of a nation's largest providers of afterschool programs. "Energy balance and appropriate earthy activity are critical to good illness and preventing childhood obesity, that is reaching record numbers in this country. Out-of-school programs provide opportunities for young kids to not only consume nutritious snacks but also to sense real-life strategies for evaluating food options and making healthy choices," says project co-leader Ellen S. Gannett, director of a National Institute upon Out-of-School Time. "If out-of-school programs! can inf luence smart choices for young kids when they're away from home and out of a classroom, they will be an important component in a campaign to fight childhood obesity."Among a recommended standards outlined for out-of-school programs - that include before and after propagandize programs, day camps, and overnight camps - are: -- Serving fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned) as options instead of cake, cookies, sweets and chips -- Offering water as a preferred drink option during snack times instead of juices, punch boxes or soda -- Dedicating during least 20 percent or during least 30 minutes of morning or afterschool program time to earthy activity (60 minutes for a full day program) -- Ensuring that daily earthy activity time includes aerobic and age-appropriate muscle and bone strengthening and cardio-respiratory fitness activitiesIn addition, a new standards elevate a importance of training out-of-school program staff upon a role of healthy eating, earthy activity and social supports for healthy behavior."The Y is proud to be part of this work to ensure that any time a child spends during a Y, and particularly time outlayed in afterschool programming, is structured to shape healthy habits for a lifetime," explains Barbara Roth, national director of youth and family programs during Y-USA and senior advisor in a development of these standards. "As a leading nonprofit in strengthening communities through healthy living, a Y's out-of-school programs provide a safe and nurturing environment to nearly 2 million young kids each year, with many of these young kids spending more time during their local Ys than in propagandize throughout a year, making a significance of these standards even greater," says Roth. The new standards have already been adopted by a National Afterschool Association (NAA), a nation's afterschool membership organization. With a NAA upon board, this will begin a next phase of a process, educating all out-of-school provide! rs about a standards and encouraging implementation. The HOST Coalition hopes that out-of-school programs will afterwards begin conducting a self-assessment to see how they stack-up when compared to a standards and afterwards begin to implement change. Local Ys around a nation will begin evaluating their out-of-school programming and begin a process of adopting a standards this year."Healthy eating and earthy activity can help kids avoid obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, but kids need healthy environments with committed role models to make these habits stick," says Jean Wiecha, associate professor during a University of Massachusetts Boston's Department of Exercise & Health Sciences and another of a project co-leaders. "It's important for a adults in their lives to steer young kids toward good choices during home, before and after school," comments Wiecha. For additional information upon a HOST Coalition please visit: www.niost.org/Standards-and-GuidelinesAbout The Healthy Out of School Time CoalitionIn January 2009, a National Institute upon Out-of-School Time (NIOST) during a Wellesley Centers for Women during Wellesley College, together with Jean Wiecha from a University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) and a YMCA of a USA (Y-USA), collaborated to found a Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition (HOST). The vision for this national coalition of leaders in a OST field is to foster illness and well-being practices in afterschool programs nationwide, using science-based standards for healthy eating, earthy activity, screen time and social supports for these behaviors including staff, family and child engagement.About YMCA of a USAYMCA of a USA is a national resource office for a Y, one of a nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across a U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and young kids - in any case of age, income or background - to nurture a potential of young kids and teens, improve a nation's i! llness a nd well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, a Y has a long-standing relationships and earthy presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net About NIOST during a Wellesley Centers for Women during Wellesley CollegeFor over 30 years, a National Institute upon Out-of-School Time (NIOST) during a Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College has successfully brought national attention to a importance of young kids and youth's out-of-school time, influenced policy, increasing standards and professional recognition, and spearheaded community action aimed during improving a availability, quality, and sustainability of programs serving young kids and youth. NIOST's varied initiatives have moved a field of afterschool forward using our capacity for research, education, training, consultation, and system-building. We have developed interactive and collaborative approaches to creating new and effective solutions to out-of-school time needs upon an individual, local, state, regional, and national level. For more information go to www.niost.org.About University of Massachusetts, BostonWith a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, a University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston's only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and a rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston's eight colleges and graduate schools serve more than 15,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To sense more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.About a Robert Wood Johnson FoundationThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses upon a pressing illness and illness care issues facing our country. As a nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to illness and illness care, a Foundation works with a diverse gro! up of or ganizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measureable and timely change. For nearly 40 years a Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to a problems that affect a illness and illness care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get a care they need, a Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. SOURCE YMCA of a USA-0-


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