The Race for Health: U.S. Schoolkids Walk and Run 50 Million Miles

Children participate in a Billion Mile Race event

The Race for Health: U.S. Schoolkids Walk and Run 50 Million Miles

December 19, 2016

Billion Mile Race Awards Schools Grants for Community Running Events

(December 19, 2016) BOSTON, MA – American kids are more motivated than ever to get on their feet, and it’s not because of Pokémon GO. More than 1.9 million students across the country have accepted the challenge to walk and run a collective one billion miles in an effort to reverse the alarming growth in obesity rates, which have quadrupled in children ages 6 – 11 since 1980.

ChildObesity180 at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition created the New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race – a program that’s fun for kids, free for schools, and foundational for instilling healthy habits. The Race gives teachers, coaches, administrators, and parents the tools they need to start an in-school walking or running program, which can be personalized to fit each school’s needs and current activities. The Race’s website lets schools set goals, log miles, and track their progress against other schools’ in this national movement. Since the fall of 2015, more than 1.9 million students at nearly 7,200 schools across the country have logged over 50 million miles.

“In order to reverse the child obesity trend, we need to create a culture where physical activity and healthy eating is an automatic part of every kid’s day,” said Dr. Christina Economos, PhD, vice chair and director of ChildObesity180. “We have a rich opportunity to meet kids where they are, harness the collaborative spirit of the school, and engage children in making healthy decisions.”

This fall, ten schools across the country hosted a race, walk-a-thon, or Fun Run event to complement their regular walking and running programs, thanks to a grant from Billion Mile Race. The winning schools were:

•    Baker Middle School in Corpus Christi, TX
•    Baldy Mesa Elementary School in Phelan, CA
•    Brandywine Elementary School in Alpharetta, GA
•    Erin School in Hartford, WI
•    Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School in Philadelphia, PA
•    Herbert Hoover Elementary School in Indio, CA
•    Nova Eisenhower in Davie, FL
•    P.S. 195 in Bronx, NY
•    Rodriguez Elementary School in Austin, TX
•    Van Wert Elementary School in Van Wert, OH

Billion Mile Race has awarded over 230 grants to schools, including 50 Fun Run grants. Schools can join the Billion Mile Race at www.billionmilerace.org.

About ChildObesity180:  Aiming for a “180” on Childhood Obesity
Based at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, our premise is unique:  Top national leaders from the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors committed to developing, measuring, and implementing evidence-based solutions to reverse the alarming epidemic of childhood obesity in America. For more information, visit www.ChildObesity180.org.

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