DCF's Child Care Office Helps Kids Eat Healthy Meals, Get Outside and Stay Active to Fight Obesity

For Immediate Release:
October 11, 2012

Erin Gillespie, Press Secretary
(850) 717-4450

DCF's Child Care Office Helps Kids Eat Healthy Meals, Get Outside and Stay Active to Fight Obesity
New PREVENT Obesity campaign will train child care providers across the state

parents and child exercisingTALLAHASSEE— With obesity-related problems affecting the health and future of Florida's children, the Department of Children and Families has created a new program to provide resources and training to child care providers and families across the state to help prevent childhood obesity.

The PREVENT Obesity initiative will Provide Resources, Evidence, Valuable Education and Training to 8,000 registered and licensed child care family homes and facilities.

"We want to work with those who are teaching our children to show them ways to serve healthy meals and keep children active," said Secretary David Wilkins. "Giving children a happy and healthy start will promote life-long well-being from an early age."

Children and adolescents who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults and are at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis. In the state of Florida, almost one-third of all children are considered either overweight or obese.

The Department of Children and Families Child Care Regulation Program Office is committed to empowering both child care providers and families in the fight against obesity in our children. By providing resources, education and training, DCF aims to stop the trend of increasing childhood obesity through prevention.

The mission of the PREVENT Obesity initiative is to be a catalyst in the fight against childhood obesity by ensuring child care providers are equipped with quality education, best practices and tools in the three proven areas directly linked to obesity prevention: nutrition, physical activity and limiting screen time. Tips will include portion and nutritional information, sample menus and alternative activities to screen time.

The first training will be held at the 2012 Florida Association for the Education of Young Children's Conference in Orlando this week. For more information about this program, please visit www.myflfamilies.com/childcare/news.