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Kane finishes plan to cut obesity in kids

Key points of the plan

For local government

Preserve green space and land for farming.

Develop community plans to promote walking and biking.

Build infrastructure, such as sidewalks and streets, that make it easier to walk and bike.

Set aside space for community gardens.

For schools

Achieve Gold Award Distinction for HealthierUS School Challenge.

Promote walking and biking.

Build more physical activity into each student’s day.

For faith groups

Offer healthy foods at all community events.

Plant or sponsor a garden.

Take steps to make healthy food available to those in need.

Create a health and wellness committee.

For families

Plant a garden.

Walk your child to school.

Play outside with your children and grandchildren.

Take action in your community to promote health.

For employers

Offer programs and health benefits to promote physical activity and better eating.

Adopt healthy food policies for food served at meetings.

Provide opportunities to be physically active during the work day.

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

The Kane County Health Department has completed its Fit Kids 2020 Plan, a 51-page document outlining strategies to prevent and reverse childhood obesity in the county over the next decade.

Fit Kids 2020 had input from parents, physicians, engineers, educators, planners, public health professionals, transportation experts, faith leaders and local policy-makers. More than 80 community members worked over six months, contributing more than 1,000 hours of volunteer time in nine work groups to develop the plan.

Tom Schlueter, public information officer for the Kane County Health Department, said the work and effort expended on the plan were “tremendous.”

“This effort is the culmination of all the hard work by the community over last six months,” Schlueter said.

In Kane County, one in five kids is overweight — and in some communities, it’s one in three, according to the health department. As they get older, some people may develop serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and bone and joint problems, the department said.

“We are recommending that all agencies and groups throughout Kane County adopt the relevant strategies outlined in this plan and adjust them to fit their needs so that we can work together to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity,” said health department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert.

Volunteers work groups focus on Built and Natural Environment, Economic Strength, Faith Community, Family, Culture and Community, Food Policy, Healthcare and Medicine, Mobility, Recreation and Lifestyle, and Schools and Recreation, according to the health department.

Each group developed strategies intended to provide parents with information on healthy physical activity and eating habits; support a culture of wellness in workplaces, schools and other institutions; assure that fresh fruits and vegetables are affordable and accessible to all; and develop public policies that foster and support physical activity.

The Fit Kids 2020 plan is available for download on the Making Kane County Fit For Kids website at

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