CHEC partners with area schools to reduce obesity

Oct 12, 2009

Salem - The new Community Health Education Center (CHEC) at Salem Hospital is partnering with Salem-Keizer schools as part of "Get Fit Salem."

Salem - The new Community Health Education Center (CHEC) at Salem Hospital is partnering with Salem-Keizer schools as part of "Get Fit Salem."

Targeting approximately 1,660 Salem-area fifth-grade students, the twelve-week program aims to reduce the risk and incidence of childhood obesity.

Elementary schools receiving Title 1 Federal benefits were selected as the pilot group in order to target students who are statistically most at risk for health issues due to socioeconomic factors.

"Get Fit Salem", funded by the Salem Hospital Foundation, challenges students to increase their daily physical activity.

Pedometers were distributed to each student in September along with a health journal to record their progress.

The journals also include education on making better food choices and the impact of nutrition on their overall health.

Visits will be made to the participating schools at the six-week mark to monitor progress in the program.

Upon completion of the program, school assemblies will publicly recognize the accomplishments of the students.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the percentage of children who are obese has more than doubled, and among adolescents the rates have more than tripled since 1980.

This program will provide Salem-area students with the education and tools needed to improve their health. 

The results of the program will be measured by conducting three surveys: one at the start of the program, one immediately following completion of the program, and another six months after completion.

Survey questions will probe for information on the effectiveness of the program in increasing the student's daily activity level, the student's interest in continuing to exercise daily after the program is over, overall satisfaction of the program, and the effectiveness of the program in helping students understand the importance of daily physical activity.

Salem Health

503-561-5200