The Mission Is Critical.

Because of changes in diet and decreasing physical activity, children are more at risk for diseases that can significantly diminish the quality, productivity, and length of their lives. Increasing physical activity has proven to be an effective way to reduce obesity and increase fitness and health while the resultant increase in blood flow and oxygen uptake aids in education achievement. 

  • Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
  • The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
  • In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. An obese 4-year-old has a 20% chance of becoming an obese adult, and an obese teenager has up to an 80% chance of becoming an obese adult.
  • Type 2 diabetes is expected to afflict one in three children born in 2000 due to poor diet and lack of physical activity.
  • Currently, obesity-related illnesses cause some 300,000 deaths a year. Inactivity and poor diet will soon overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
  • Children have access to numerous sports and activities in the spring, summer and fall when the weather is nice. But winter weather drives most kids indoors and in front of their TV or computer. 
  • Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.
  • The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, and other organizations.
  • By providing access and means to children who would not otherwise participate in physical activity in winter, the NWSEF opens a whole new world of health and fitness to children.
  • The NWSEF wants to build relationships with underserved communities and new demographics to expand the groups of kids who can experience the fun and excitement of outdoor sports.