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VIDEO: Focusing on Youth Activity to Prevent Obesity

October 23, 2014

Technology allows us to move very little, while food is readily available nearby. University of Missouri researcher Dr. Steve Ball is focusing on strategies to get kids moving.

The obesity epidemic has many contributing factors, one of which is energy balance – we need to move more and eat less. Because our environment encourages us to be inactive and take in lots of calories, we need to discover ways to embed activity into our lives.

Ball focuses on youth because obese children have a greater chance of becoming obese adults. He has implemented a program called “Jump Into Action” that introduced fun ways of working physical activity into a regular school day. Physical activity need not be strenuous to get health benefits, and short bursts of activity are sufficient. There is also a nutrition component.

Children who become more active at school also become more active at home. “Jump Into Action” has become a model program nationally.