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CHP Champions Program Celebrates Year 4

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

In the fall of 2004 the Leon County School District completed the first-ever study of body mass indexes (BMI) in grades K, 1 and 3-8. The results showed 36.2% of the children were either overweight (18.9%) or at-risk for overweight (17.4%).

Capital Health Plan recognized that the future health of our community depends on the lifestyle choices offered to our children today. In partnership with Leon County Schools, Titus Sports Academy, the Chamber of Commerce’s World Class Schools and Capital Health Plan, the CHP Champions program was launched.

Four years later, CHP Champions is in every elementary school and middle school in Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson and Wakulla County. Participation has increased from 1,151 children in its first year to over 8,800 participates last school year. Working with the FSU Medical School to implement a K-2nd grade program in 12 elementary schools, CHP Champions has a target goal this school year of 12,600 participants.

The focus of the program is to provide students with developmental physical activity by incorporating the basic level of sports performance training principles. Initially offered as an after-school program, it is now offered before school and during the day in a large portion of schools. CHP Champions is currently working to incorporate program lessons into the standard physical education curriculum.

A key element of this initiative is a well-designed set of evaluations. Each student is given a pre-test and post-test each semester to track their progress. The test gathers data including BMI, hip-to-waist ratio, and performance in a number of physical fitness activities.

An independent analysis conducted by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst found significant correlation in students’ participation in the CHP CHAMPIONS program and their overall improvement in health and fitness. An indication of this correlation is the downward shift of CHP Champions pre-BMI compared to CHP Champions post-BMI. The study looked at data collected from the 2006/2007 school year including weight, BMI, and improvement in the following performance tests: 40 Yard Dash, Pro Agility, Broad Jump, and 300 Yard Shuttle Run.

 

Weight Status Category CHP CHAMPIONS Pre BMI* CHP CHAMPIONS Post BMI*
Healthy Weight 53 % 57 %
Overweight 33 % 25 %

*Includes 242 participants with at least 40% participation Rate who were enrolled in both Fall 2006 and Spring 200.

If you would like more information on the CHP Champions Program please email info@mychampions.com or visit the website at www.mychampions.com.

 

 

Annual Physicals Are Necessary for Children and Teens

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

This question comes up all the time: “My child is up to date on shots. What is the need for a check-up?” Shots are not the only reasons for annual check-ups. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends yearly physicals from ages two to six years, at eight and ten years, and then annually thereafter. Here are important reasons why.

 

Young Children. While children between ages two and six are usually not big eaters, it is still important to look at their growth and diet. Kids who are overweight by age five are much more likely to be overweight as teenagers and adults. This predisposes them to all the related adult health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes. By plotting weight, height, and Body Mass Index (BMI), we can be sure they are growing appropriately.

Young children develop rapidly. Children need to be screened for language development and fine and gross motor problems that, if found, can be addressed before the child starts school.

During well visits we can also reinforce car or booster seat use and gun and water safety. Accidents, including drowning, are the leading cause of death for kids two to six.

Teens. Adolescence has its own set of problems for parents and teens. Puberty comes at different times for different kids, which can cause concerns of growing too soon or not soon enough. The doctor can talk about what to expect during puberty: increased appetite, moodiness, increased sleep requirement, and, for girls, periods. Discussions can be started about peer pressure, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, driving, and difficulties at school. Your doctor may want to speak with your teenager in private.

Also, the doctor will screen your child for curvature of the spine (scoliosis), anemia, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, and other familial diseases.

New Vaccines. And while you may think that your child is up to date on vaccines, recommendations are changing all the time. In the last two years, new vaccines for meningococcal disease (Menactra) and human papilloma virus (Gardisil) have been recommended for eleven- to twelve-year-olds. A second chicken pox vaccine is now required for kindergarten. Just last year, flu shots were recommended for all children between six months and eighteen years.

Taking your child to his or her physician works for health in so many ways. Make an appointment today.