ATTENTION PRODUCERS: IDEA FOR NBC HEALTH WEEK, Starting June 21
Time Outdoors Linked to Prevention of Childhood Ailments; Spokespeople Available for NBC Health Week
Washington, D.C. – One step to preventing childhood obesity, diabetes and depression is getting kids and families to spend more time outside, and as part of the National Environmental Education Foundation’s “Children and Nature Initiative,” health care professionals are leading the way.
Health problems resulting from children’s increasingly sedentary lifestyles have been well documented. Under the Children and Nature Initiative, health care professionals around the country being trained as “Nature Champions” will lead their peers to encourage physical activity among their for their patients and their families. Using specially designed materials under development – both in English and Spanish – they will “prescribe nature,” with ideas for what to do in nearby parks and green spaces.
The May 2010 issue of Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care features the article, “Using Nature and Outdoor Activity to Improve Children’s Health,” which summarizes the latest research and shares information about the Children and Nature Initiative of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). As part of the initiative, pediatric health care providers will encourage parents and children to spend more time outdoors and connect their patients to parks and other natural environments that are easily accessible.
A pilot program of the initiative was launched last month in partnership with the National Audubon Society in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Health care professionals from around New York City received “nature champion” training. They will each train dozens of their peers to expand the program. More health care professionals from around the country will join in over the coming months.
Spokespeople are available to speak on the health benefits of spending time outdoors, the Children and Nature Initiative and some ideas for outdoor family activities:
- Leyla Erk McCurdy, MPhil, senior director, Health & Environment Program, National Environmental Education Foundation, Washington, D.C.
- Dr. Joel Forman, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics, Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.
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Knowledge to Live By
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) provides knowledge to trusted professionals who, with their credibility, amplify messages to national audiences to solve everyday environmental problems. Together, we generate lasting positive change. NEEF partners with professionals in health, education, media, business and public land management to promote daily actions for helping people protect and enjoy the environment. Through our primary programs -- Classroom Earth, National Public Lands Day, National Environmental Education Week, Business and Environment, Earth Gauge® and Health & Environment – we offer Americans knowledge to live by. To learn more, call 202-833-2933 or visit www.neefusa.org.