What does it mean to be overweight or obese?
Remember BMI? You know, the only time math ever made an appearance in middle school gym class? By definition, an individual is considered overweight or obese when their weight is too high compared to their height – also known as Body Mass Index (BMI).
According to the NYC Department of Health, more than half of adult New Yorkers are overweight or obese and nearly half of all children in elementary school or Head Start, a program providing free child development activities and educational programs, are not a healthy weight. Translation? In New York, 1 in 5 kindergarten students and 1 in 4 Head Start children are obese.
Obesity rates like these put the health of all New Yorkers at risk. Being overweight or obese can lead to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. While obesity and related health problems are experienced all around the world, in New York City, it's become an epidemic.
That's why New York Cares strives to keep these issues front of mind and works year-round with nonprofits and public schools to combat obesity in our city with a variety of volunteer-powered programs.
Nutrition programs, like Culinary Explorers and Snacktivities, teach healthy cooking skills to children and seniors through fun and hands-on activities.
Sports Explorers and other fitness programs, inspired by national campaigns such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” which promoted fitness and healthy eating nationwide, provides the time and place for kids and seniors to get the exercise they need in their week.
Local food pantries get a helping hand from volunteers on sorting, packing, and stocking projects, which make healthy food options available to underserved communities.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has labeled the month of March as National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition education platform, which each year focuses on a different theme related to nutrition and health. This year's theme is “Go Further with Food,” promoting the importance of making educated food choices and developing healthier eating and physical activity habits. Help us recognize National Nutrition Month® by volunteering for one of the many opportunities and special events we're running throughout the month.
Want to know more?
• Attend one of our many Health and Wellness projects throughout the city.
• Follow us on social media and keep an eye out for emails with more information about upcoming New York Cares National Nutrition Month events. Facebook. Instagram.
• Visit The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website to learn more about National Nutrition Month events and initiatives.
• To learn more about the fight against obesity in New York City, visit the Department of Health website here.