Monday, September 22, 2014
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Invest in Yourself and Your Community 

Hunger is a growing problem globally and the United States is not immune. Nearly 12 million American children have limited access to the nutritious foods they need to learn and live active, healthy lives.

Hunger impairs children's health in significant and long-lasting ways by impeding growth and development, contributing to poorer mental health and playing a part in a child's greater susceptibility to obesity.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization has reported that there are 1.6 billion overweight people in the world.

The rise in both obesity and those without enough resources for nutritious meals is creating plenty of areas of need. Here are some ways you can make a healthy investment in yourself and neighbors in need.

1. Volunteer

There are resources available to help locate volunteer opportunities all over the country - such as with Operation Frontline; a program from Share Our Strength that connects families with food by teaching them how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a budget. You can find a volunteer opportunity near you by visiting www.strength.org.

2. Make a donation.

There are many great programs focused on long-term strategies to end childhood hunger - the difference between feeding a family tonight and helping to ensure that a family never again has to worry about where the next meal will come from. You may not think a dollar goes far, but by investing in the right organization, it can go further than you might imagine. For example, as little as $35 can help feed a child three meals a day for more than a month, according to Share our Strength. For less then the cost of a nice meal out, you can help a child forget about his hunger, and focus on just being a kid.

3. Get involved.

The national Lose for Good campaign from Weight Watchers focuses on both achieving better health and fighting hunger at the local, national and global level. For the Lose for Good campaign, as members lose weight between Aug. 30 and Sept. 17, Weight Watchers will donate up to $1 million to help feed children and families in need. Losing as little as 10 percent of your body weight can bring rewards like lowered cholesterol and reduced blood pressure.

In addition, food drives are being organized in Weight Watchers meeting locations across the country, allowing members to donate food in their communities to spread the good even further. Last year, as part of the Lose for Good campaign, 4 million pounds were lost by members and online subscribers and Weight Watchers donated $1 million to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger. Also, 1.5 million pounds of food was collected and donated to local food banks.

"Its well known that obesity has an impact on a variety of health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer," says David Kirchhoff, president and CEO of Weight Watchers International, Inc. "At the same time, so many people in our country and abroad are struggling to get enough to eat. Now more than ever, we all need to take action - for our own health as well as the health of our families, friends and neighbors."

As the leading organization working to end childhood hunger in America, Share Our Strength works to surround children with healthy nutritious food. "Children in America are hungry not because they lack food," says Bill Shore, co-founder and executive director, "but because of a lack of access to programs that can help."

To find a local Weight Watchers meeting near you, or learn more about Lose for Good, visit loseforgood.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Category: Health


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