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Healthy Kids

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Walk On! Challenge

In an ongoing effort to provide Arizona’s youth with a healthier future, BCBSAZ is dedicated to outcomes based initiatives aimed at decreasing childhood obesity rates. Since its inception in 2003, the Walk On! Challenge has reached hundreds of thousands of students with the message of 5-2-1-0. The program utilizes four easy to remember guidelines that inspire overall wellness -- five fruits and vegetables every day, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more hours of physical activity and zero sweetened drinks.

Childhood Obesity & The Walk On! Challenge Facts

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children aged 2-19 years are obese. These figures rise even higher for minority youth, and even approach 30 percent among some ethnic groups.
  • According to the Department of Health Services, Arizona ranks 15th in the nation for childhood obesity.
  • Clearly, childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term serious health impacts. Aside from health risks, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, obesity has negative social consequences, including frequent absenteeism and impaired school function.
  • It is important to get children to engage in physical activities and healthy nutrition habits as a means to help reduce the trend toward childhood obesity.
  • Started in 2006, the Walk On! Challenge is an interactive, educational program designed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona to help combat childhood obesity and motivate Arizona youth to incorporate exercise and healthy nutrition habits into their daily routines.
  • The annual Walk On! Challenge is targeted to fifth-grade students across the state who are asked to track their efforts in meeting the 5-2-1-0 goal. This means aiming for FIVE fruits or vegetables per day, less than TWO hours of screen time, ONE hour of physical activity and ZERO sweetened drinks.
  • Since its inception, the program has reached approximately 210,000 children across the state of Arizona.
  • Students who complete the challenge are eligible to win great prizes. And, every student who participates receives a Walk On! mementos from bracelets to backpacks.
  • In an ongoing effort to keep schools engaged in the program, BCBSAZ has distributed more than $75,000 in grants to schools across the state for health and wellness activities.

Learn more about the Walk On! Challenge

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