The Count Down was over and the Power Launch was on at Westgate Mall. On Friday, April 21, 2006, the Coalition of Health Services announced one of the most important children’s health programs of the year. It’s called NonStop. Amarillo became the first city in the nation to encourage physical activity and smart nutritional choices through NonStop.
NonStop provides motivation and tools to get Texas Panhandle kids up and moving. It promotes better nutrition and personal responsibility. The program targets kids from 5 to 13 years of age. It is a behavior modification program that rewards kids for increasing their physical activity, making good nutrition choices, setting personal goals and altering typical sedentary behavior. The Coalition of Health Services mission is to enhance rural health through coordinated and collaborative efforts. Texas Bicycle Coalition’s Safe Routes to School program, 13 hospital affiliates serving 26 counties in the Texas panhandle, and many other organizations are partnering with the Coalition of Health Services to provide alternatives for youth.
Because of increased consumption of fast food and decreased physical activity, the number of overweight children continues to increase by leaps and bounds. This rise will lead to health problems and affect their self-esteem. This will dramatically impact not only the cost and delivery of healthcare but also the economy of the Amarillo region, the state of Texas and the nation. Dr. Stephen W. Ponder, a Corpus Christi pediatrician, explained at the event that childhood obesity is no longer a disease; it’s a plague in America.
Many jump ropes were among the crowd as the Whip Its, a jump rope team from Woodlands Elementary School, entertained and amazed attendees with their talents. Texas Bicycle Coalition Local Outreach Coordinators Fernando Martinez and Joyce Cunningham challenged young and old to take the Bicycle Challenge Quiz and distributed bicycle safety materials. The Amarillo Dusters and other organization all helped to encourage participation to effectively combat obesity. Please join us in this worthy effort.