According to federal reports, Missouri is one of the heaviest states in the country, with 30 percent of adults obese and 29 percent of children (aged 10 to 17) overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity and is associated with an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Obesity has been estimated to decrease a person’s lifespan by an average of 2-5 years and can lead to significant economic costs to both individuals and the state. The H.I.P. Initiative was developed to address childhood obesity through prevention efforts in the St. Louis area by promoting healthy lifestyles, including optimal nutrition and regular physical activity.
Our mission is to inspire healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for children in area school districts. Through meaningful partnerships with national and local organizations, school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and kids, H.I.P. will create hands-on programs such as Culinary Ambassadors, Garden to the Classroom, and H.I.P. Sports Ambassadors. These programs will provide nutrition education, healthy foods, healthy environments and opportunities for children to flourish.
- CULINARY AMBASSADORS: The Culinary Ambassadors program which will be an effort to introduce healthier meals to school cafeterias, hands-on workshops, and curriculum into St. Louis area schools, in addition to cooking classes and workshops for parents. Volunteer chefs will have an opportunity to share their culinary expertise with the community and offer ideas on offering meals that are healthy, nutritious, and visually appealing.
- GARDEN TO THE CLASSROOM: A nutrition education curriculum and horticulture program that will assist schools in design and installation of on-site gardens as an educational and community resource. Gardening helps to rekindle interest in the foods we eat and show young people how to cultivate, care for, and prepare nutritious foods from the garden. Our goal is to enable schools to develop a hands-on curriculum resource that also serves as a community resource for gardening, education, and community events.
- H.I.P. SPORTS AMBASSADORS: A program that will enable former college, semi professional, and professional athletes to give back to the sport that they love. Working with youth sports programs in the St. Louis area, these ambassadors will support coaches while helping parents and youth understand the importance of developing sound fundamentals at an early age. Their passion and leadership show that those associated with different levels of sports care deeply for the children who enjoy being active and gain from its many rewards.
My son had hypertension and I was actively working with him, encouraging him to eat better and exercise. Michael suffered from hypertension and too many of our youth are obese, or due to poor nutrition don’t have optimal health. We want to team up with schools in a challenge to get kids physically active and eating healthier…Lezley McSpadden,
Mother of Michael O.D. Brown
The Michael O. D. Brown We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation envisions a community where healthy eating and daily physical activity is normal. We strive for a culture where nutritious food is shared, appreciated and celebrated, and we won’t stop until it becomes a reality.