CHILDHOOD: Taking on diabetesThe Iron River Lions Club is joining forces with the elementary school for an education in healthy living.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
The Iron River Lions Club is joining forces with the elementary school for an education in healthy living.
The 10-week education and fundraising program, 10,000 Steps School Walk for Diabetes, is designed to teach children about healthy living and diabetes prevention. The program kicks off Tuesday.
Each week the students will be exposed to healthy living concepts and encouraged to increase their step activity, said Faith Pittsley of the Lion’s Club. By the end of 10 weeks, the goal is to have students taking 10,000 steps a day.
“Actually, children need 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle,” she said.
But the organization needs help. Volunteers are needed to help in the classroom with learning and craft activities and sponsors are needed to help the organization reach its goal of pledging $1,000 dollars to the American Diabetes Association and develop a diabetes education program through the Iron River Lion’s Club.
Diabetes, often called a silent killer, affects almost 24 million people – 186,000 of them children – in the United States, and nearly one-third don’t even know they have the disease. According to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if lifestyles don’t change, one in three Americans born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime.
A recent study of mortality data maintained by the Bureau of Health Information and Policy, Wisconsin Division of Public Health revealed that Douglas County has among the highest rates of death from diabetes in the state, according to Timothy Tyson, who’s writing have appeared in a number of medical journals. Tyson revealed his finding in an article written for the Superior Telegram.
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and the epidemic of obesity as a rising health concern for children, prompted the club to join forces with the school, Pittsley said.
“We can change this trend by helping children and families learn how to lead healthier lifestyles through good nutrition and daily physical activity,” Pittsley said. She said the goal is to reach both students and families to share the knowledge.
Volunteers can call Pittsley at (715) 372-8447 to lend a hand. Donors can pledge 10 cents a day for the 10-week program – $7 – by sending checks payable to the Iron River Lions Club-Diabetes and mail them to 10,000 Steps, c/o Faith Pittsley, 7130 Spider Lake Road, Iron River, WI 54847.