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North Dakotans Challenged to Shape Up

The Life is Why Family Health Challenge encourages families to eat healthier and get more regular physical activity over the next four weeks and into the future. Credit: Creativestock.
The Life is Why Family Health Challenge encourages families to eat healthier and get more regular physical activity over the next four weeks and into the future. Credit: Creativestock.
August 31, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. – The number of children who are overweight or obese in North Dakota has been swelling for decades, but a month-long event starting Tuesday aims to gain some traction in reversing that trend.

The Life is Why Family Health Challenge is broken down into four themed weeks. American Heart Association volunteer Carrie McLeod says the first component is called My Cart is Why, as in shopping cart.

"Which helps your family to understand the importance of fruits and vegetables and has some fun, easy activities for the children to take part it,” she explains. “So that it can really be a fun thing and not an 'Oh, gosh, you have to eat your broccoli' kind of thing."

The other three weeks will focus on reducing the consumption of soft and other sugary drinks, reducing the amount of sodium in the diet and increasing the amount of physical activity.

Currently, more than a third of children in North Dakota are considered overweight or obese.

While the road to better physical health and weight loss can be daunting for some, McLeod says that the suggested activities for each week of the challenge are things that families can easily do together.

"They're just small steps,” she points you. “You know, we wanted this to be something that would be easy for people to do. Not that they have to turn their whole life around, but just to make some simple, easy steps that would be fun for the family to participate in."

Those wanting to take part in the Life is Why Family Health Challenge can find all the details online at the American Heart Association Facebook page.




John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND