Survey shows satisfaction with after-school programs aimed at helping children’s health and physical fitness

Kentucky Health News

A household survey for the Afterschool Alliance shows that after-school programs may be key in preventing childhood obesity in Kentucky and across the nation. The “Kids on the Move: After-School Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity” survey showed parentswere generally satisfield with the programs, which are aimed at health and physical fitness.

The great majority of parents (78 percent in Kentucky and 72 percent nationally) report that after-school programs give their children snacks, drinks and/or meals, and 80 percent in Kentucky say that the sustenance provided is healthy. Eighty-six percent of Kentucky parents report that their child’s afterschool program provides opportunities for physical activity. To see the rest of the statistics, click here.

“Afterschool programs are a proven, but sometimes underappreciated, weapon in the battle against childhood obesity and physical inactivity,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant.  “The healthy habits afterschool programs help instill can last a lifetime.”

Key national findings from Kids on the Move:
  • Older youth are less likely than younger children to attend an after-school program that offers food and less likely to be physically active in their program.
  • Providing healthy food during after-school programs is especially important to low-income, African-American and Hispanic parents.
  • Opportunities for physical activity are important to African-American, Hispanic and low-income parents.
  • Many parents are unaware that standards for healthy eating and physical activity exist for afterschool programs. The Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards recommend best practices related to food and activity, including at least 30 minutes of morning or after-school program time for physical activity (60 minutes for a full day program).
Kids on the Move recommends that providers of afterschool programs make sure they are aware of policies that support such programs. Findings from America After 3PM show that in the last 10 years, afterschool program participation has risen from 6.5 million to 10.2 million, and 19.5 million parents said they would send their children to an afterschool program if one were available.

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