Obesity Prevention and Control Program
About the Program: How we are getting kids moving
Introducing our partner in physical activity: Healthy Futures
In fall 2011, the Obesity Prevention and Control Program began a new partnership with Healthy Futures.
Healthy Futures is a grassroots organization that started in 2003 by two Alaska parents who were concerned about the health of Alaska’s children. In Alaska, about three out of 10 children are overweight or obese.
Today, Healthy Futures is the signature program of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. The program encourages kids to build the habit of daily physical activity through three main programs:
- Running the Healthy Futures Physical Activity Challenge through Alaska elementary schools.
- Supporting community physical activity events by making them fun and affordable for families.
- Working with positive, physically active Alaska role models, including Olympic skiers Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, Lars Flora and national recognized athletes like NHL star Scotty Gomez.
DHSS Partnering with Healthy Futures
Increases Student Participation
Percent of Alaska Elementary School Children Participating in the Healthy Futures Physical Activity Challenge, 2011 – 2013
Healthy Futures is now part of the obesity program’s Play Every Day campaign to raise awareness about childhood obesity in Alaska and increase the amount of daily physical activity of Alaska children and their families. The national recommendation is that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day for good health and maintaining a healthy weight.
DHSS continues to work with Healthy Futures to help implement the school-based social support program called the Healthy Futures Physical Activity Challenge. These challenges happen twice a year in Alaska elementary schools. Elementary-aged students record their physical activities on simple log forms, turn those forms in at school, and win prizes for being active. The prizes promote physical activity.
Significant increase in Healthy Futures participation
Prior to the partnership of DHSS and Healthy Futures, 2 percent of elementary-age children across Alaska were participating in the Healthy Futures Challenge. During the spring 2011 Challenge, for example, only 36 schools signed up and 1,342 individual children participated. Since the partnership began, participation has risen significantly.
Spring 2012 Healthy Futures Challenge
Fall 2012 Healthy Futures Challenge
- Schools that participated: 110
- Number of participating students: 6,973 (about 10% of Alaska public elementary school students)
Spring 2013 Healthy Futures Challenge
- Schools that participated: 88
- Number of participating students: 9,833 (about 14% of Alaska public elementary school students)
- Schools signed up to participate: 142
- Number participating students: Challenge is ongoing
The goal for the Healthy Futures Challenge is to serve 17,500 students, or 25% of Alaska elementary school students, by the fall 2014 Challenge.
To learn more about Play Every Day, visit the campaign website playeveryday.alaska.gov.
To learn more about the Healthy Futures Challenge, visit one of these three websites: