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Experts Remind Parents: Obesity Prevention = Cancer Prevention
For Childhood Obesity Month, Free Toolkits Help Parents Protect Kids For Life

Healthy Kids logoWASHINGTON, DC – September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time when families hear many familiar health messages about the obesity epidemic’s toll on our kids’ short- and long-term health. But one message most of these parents haven’t heard is that cancer prevention starts at an early age, and that excess weight puts kids at risk for seven common weight-related cancers later in life.

Which is why the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and SuperKids Nutrition (SKN) have partnered to create a free series of online toolkits and community outreach as part of a campaign to get families talking, and taking action, about healthier living and cancer prevention.

The campaign, called Healthy Kids Today – Cancer Prevention Tomorrow grows out of AICR’s expert reports and updates, which identify obesity as a major cause of seven of the most common cancers in U.S., including those of the colorectum, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, endometrium and post-menopausal breast.

AICR estimates that preventing obesity would prevent well over 100,000 cases of cancer every year, in the US alone. They’ve partnered with SuperKids Nutrition to get the message into the hands of those who need it.

“AICR provides the evidence base,” says AICR’s Alice Bender, MS, RD, ”and SuperKids Nutrition helps us turn that evidence into fun, engaging and easy-to-use tools that parents, teachers and kids use together to instill the kind of life-long habits that keep kids healthy.”

Six free downloadable toolkits available at http://www.aicr.org/healthykids/ and http://www.superkidsnutrition.com/healthykids offer a host of fun, educational, parent and kid friendly resources. These include learning activities, recipes, behavioral trackers and lesson plans featuring the Super Crew kids, a multicultural group of kids who get powers from different healthy foods, who are featured in thousand of school sites across the nation. The toolkits show families how to get more colorful plant foods into every meal, slip more activity into the day, make healthy substitutes for unhealthy foods, make smarter choices in the grocery aisle, and much more.

“The habits kids learn at home are the ones they take with them into their adulthood,” said Melissa Halas-Liang, MA, RD, CDE, founder of SuperKids Nutrition. “By engaging kids with fun activities and delicious recipes, we can help spare the kids of today hundreds of thousands of cancer cases tomorrow.”

By participating in the Healthy Kids Today – Cancer Prevention Tomorrow campaign, parents and kids can sign a pledge to dedicate themselves to healthier habits and complete one free toolkit per month. The toolkits include a range of easy tips to help combat childhood obesity, including:

  • Toolkit 1: Eat Powerful Plant Foods
    Think colors! Tracking your food colors with the Super Crew Colorful Food Tracker will help you eat at least 4 colors a day faster than you think.
  • Toolkit 2: Go With Whole Grains
    We’ve got the whole deal – eating more than half your grains as whole grains keeps you healthy and lowers cancer risks. Track the whole grains you eat—you may surprise yourself with how much you already eat.
  • Toolkit 3: Healthy Protein
    Making a delicious meal using plant-based protein is easy, filling and healthy. You won’t even miss the meat!
  • Toolkit 4: Get Active
    Dance or play your way to an active you! Find fun ways to stay active and grow strong with at least 60 minutes of exercise each day. Learn how to make fitness fun.
  • Toolkit 5: Healthy Grocery Shopping
    Family pizza night? Forget delivery, have fun making your own – it’s healthier and keeps the family laughing.
  • Toolkit 6: Taste a Rainbow of Colors
    Taste the rainbow with your kids! Get hooked on this colorful slaw while your kids get to help in the kitchen.

About the Healthy Kids Today – Prevent Cancer Tomorrow partners:

SuperKids Nutrition Inc. was founded in August 2006 to "save the world one healthy food at a time." We provide nutrition content, learning activities and curriculum featuring the Super Crew® on our website and to over 3,000 schools in over 40 states. SuperKids Nutrition empowers children and families to reach their full potential and accomplish their goals through good health. We are the ultimate resource for parents, educators and health care professionals to become more knowledgeable about nutrition and enable families and children to make healthy choices every day.

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters cancer prevention and survivorship through healthy diets, physical activity and body weight. About one-third of cases of the most common cancers could be prevented this way. By raising awareness of this message, we hope that many thousands of lives will be saved. The education and research programs of AICR are funded almost entirely by donations from the public. We fund cutting edge cancer research and help people make choices that reduce their chances of developing cancer. We are part of a global network of charities that are committed to preventing cancer.

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