While curbing the obesity epidemic in Kentucky and across the country will take a multifaceted approach, several policies can make the healthy choice for families, the easy choice to make.
Everyone needs safe and accessible places to exercise in their communities in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Shared-use, when a school allows community agencies and members to use its facilities during non-school hours, is one way for Kentucky communities to increase access to recreational facilities. Learn more.
Children are more active when they have safe places to play close to their homes. Building and designing roads to accommodate all users, known as complete streets, can increase opportunities for people to safely exercise on streets in their communities. Learn more.
It is difficult to accurately assess the extent of the obesity problem in Kentucky without accurate data. Currently, there is no county level data on child obesity available for the school aged children population in Kentucky. Kentucky Youth Advocates has been working with the legislature and the Department of Education to implement a system to monitor body mass index through the required school physical exam for children entering kindergarten and 6th grade to obtain this data.
- In 2012, Kentucky Youth Advocates released the results of a survey of school principals focused on shared-use in Kentucky communities. The report, Sharing School Facilities: How Collaboration can Increase Physical Activity in Communities, provides success stories of shared-use across the state and identifies solutions to overcome barriers to shared-use.
- Kentucky Youth Advocates worked on the successful passage of SB 110 during the 2012 General Assembly. This bill, now signed into law, encourages more schools to open up their facilities to the community by extending the same protections from liability that they have during the school day if someone gets hurt while on school property after school hours. Kentucky Youth Advocates is now working to educate school districts about the new law and encourage more schools to open up their facilities to the community during non-school hours.