Combating childhood obesity is rapidly becoming one of the nation’s biggest problems.
OASIS, and BJ Hospital are working on healthy eating and wellness programs with youth in the community. Once a week, this group works with the after-school program for children at Old Bonhomme School. Case worker Shelby Schroeder, MSW is the CATCH healthy coordinator for St. Louis. This is what she had to say about this intergenerational program catching on in St. Louis:
Patch.com: We are definitely interested in learning more about the good work you are doing in the community.
Shelby Schroeder: We have five St. Louis OASIS offices, one at the Center of Clayton, one at the Forest Park Visitors Center, a building downtown, I am based at Christian Hospital Northeast and our newest office is in O’Fallon (MO).
For the CATCH Healthy Habits Living Program, we focus on improving nutrition and physical activity for kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Patch: Exactly what is CATCH.
Schroeder: CATCH is an anancronism for a coordinated program to healthy children. This is the part that brings in the adults.
Patch: We are interested in your partnership in particular with Old Bonhomme School in Olivette. How did that come about.
Schroeder: We are partnering with them again.We did that last spring. We had anywhere from 25-30 kids each week and we had a team of three to four volunteers.
Patch: How did Old Bonhomme School find you.
Schroeder: Connie Jander, the P.E. teacher actually called me or sent me an email about a year ago and said she wanted to learn more about what we did.
I met with her and she thought it sounded great and that’s how we started the partnership.
OASIS tutoring has been around for about 25 years. We are the new part of the program. CATCH Healthy habits has been around only since 2011. We are looking to expand but there are a lot of factors.
Patch: What is the main issue you are dealing with.
Schroeder: At this point the CDC says obesity is an epidemic. In the last couple of decades, obesity has tripled for children and doubled for adults.
The current statistics are one in three children are overweight or obese.
Patch: So what can we do about that.
Schroeder: CATCH Healthy Habits talks about nutrition and increasing physical activity.
There is just not one solution to the obesity epidemic. In our program about the importance of physical activity. Too many kids are sedentary and kids are eating more foods that are loaded with sugar and salt.
Patch: If you go to Busch Stadium, all you see are fans eating nachos and bratwursts and just all the wrong things.
Schroeder: Funny you would ask that. At little league concession stands, they won’t allow you to bring in your own healthy snacks and what they offer is high fat, high sugar and high salt.
There’s a false belief that kids are getting physical activity then eating the wrong things and seen as being healthy.
Next Shelby Schroeder answers questions why it is important to work with children kindergarten through the fifth grade.