Reagan Spomer, a 4th grade student at Washington Elementary School in Pierre, has been selected to serve on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation 2013-2014 Youth Advisory Board. Reagan was chosen to serve because of her passion to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by inspiring her peers, schools and community to live healthier lives. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation and is one of the largest non-profit organizations working to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.
According to a statement in a joint press release by the two organizations, the Alliance’s Youth Advisory Board is one of the only youth-led advisory groups in the country focused on childhood obesity issues. The 21 youth leaders play an integral role in advising and providing a youth perspective to the organization as the Alliance strives to encourage young people across the nation to make healthy choices. Board members serve as thought-leaders on childhood obesity issues, representing the Alliance at local and national events, interviewing with journalists and health-education experts, engaging with community leaders, and addressing their peers.
Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation stated, "Adults can sit around a table all day and talk about ways to reverse the obesity epidemic in childhood, but unless we have authentic youth perspective in the conversations, we aren't going to get very far. Our Youth Advisory Board members play a critical role in fighting the epidemic - raising their voices and inspiring their communities to take action."
"I think it is important that youth have a voice in the fight against childhood obesity because we are the next generation," says Reagan. "We need to be able to help our peers break away from bad habits and lead them in the right direction. Kids are more willing to listen to other kids instead of adults."
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, works to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. The Alliance works with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to transform the conditions and systems that lead to healthier children. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.HealthierGeneration.org