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Childhood obesity…

June 1, 2010

Ever since running my first (and only) marathon in 2001, I have always wanted to run another one.  The first one was a bit rough.  I will spare you the unseemly details.  Anyway…after running several half-marathons in the last couple years, it seemed like it was time to attempt a full-marathon again.

I have chosen the New York City marathon on November 7 because of the opportunity to run in a great setting for a great cause.  I will be running for Team for Kids which raises money to fight childhood obesity through youth programs provided by New York Road Runners.   This blog post is a shameless pitch to solicit sponsors!

NYRR’s running-based youth programs promote children’s physical fitness, character development, and personal achievement in under-served communities.  Their youth programs currently serve close to 100,000 children a week in hundreds of schools and community centers. Having proven successful in New York City, the programs are now being established across the United Sates and in Africa.

Before signing up with TFK, I had a general sense that obesity was on the rise, but had little idea the scope of the crisis. Here are just a few statistics:

  • In New York City, 43 percent of elementary-school children are overweight or obese.
  • An obese 4-year-old has a 20% chance of becoming an obese adult, and an obese teenager has up to an 80% chance of becoming an obese adult.
  • Type 2 diabetes is expected to afflict one in three children born in 2000 due to poor diet and lack of physical activity.
  • Health-care expenses and productivity losses related to obesity problems cost Americans more than $100 billion annually.
  • Currently, obesity-related illnesses cause some 300,000 deaths a year. Inactivity and poor diet will soon overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
  • Team for Kids was established in 2002 as the primary charity fundraising vehicle for New York Road Runners’ Youth Programs division.  I joined because it seemed like a good way to combine something I’m already doing (running) with an effort to make a positive contribution to communities at the same time.

    I would be grateful for your sponsorship.  If you would like to make a donation, you may do so online here.  Or see me in person for an envelope and flyer.   Thanks!!

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