February 10, 2006

Program promotes healthy lifestyle choices

Featured Image

Hip-hop choreographer Jonathan Lee shows students at Croft Middle School
some moves during the Live It! Go For the Red, White and Blue kickoff
event last week.
Photo by Tommy Lawson

Program promotes healthy lifestyle choices

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt and Nashville Coca-Cola have joined forces to help area students embrace healthy lifestyle choices through “Live It! Go For the Red, White and Blue.”

Twelve middle schools in Davidson County have embarked on an eight-week-long healthy lifestyle program inspired by two successful programs — the Coca-Cola Co.'s national Live It! one-week health program for middle school students and Vanderbilt's ongoing employee health program, Go For the Gold.

The program was officially launched at Croft Middle School on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and featured a special visit from Tennessee Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher and Vice Mayor Howard Gentry.

The program will target fifth and sixth grades and will focus on activities chosen by the students and incentives and rewards for students who follow a healthy lifestyle and attain or maintain a healthy weight.

Each school will have a team consisting of members from Vanderbilt Sports Medicine, students from Vanderbilt School of Nursing and others. It can be customized according to the specific needs of the school. Parents, students, teachers and school cafeteria staff will be provided with literature about the program and its objectives.

Students will have a measurement of waist circumference (the standard in measuring obesity in children) and Body Mass Index taken throughout the eight weeks. School Health director for Children's Hospital, Tom Cook, R.N., Ph.D., will study the data gathered to see if the program is reaching its goals.

“We are excited to work jointly on a program that will show results,” said Jim Shmerling, CEO and executive director of Children's Hospital. “With the help of Vanderbilt Sports Medicine, Vanderbilt School of Nursing, McGavock High School Allied Health students and Track It, our Web-based tracking system, we'll be encouraging students and their families to adopt a healthier way of life.”

If successful, Live It! Go For the Red, White and Blue will expand to other schools in the future.