Mission & Vision
Teach a Kid to Fish is energizing the movement to prevent childhood obesity.
The mission of Teach a Kid to Fish (TKF) is to prevent and reduce childhood obesity by empowering Lincoln children and families to eat healthy and be active.
Teach a Kid to Fish envisions creating community solutions for children’s health.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are raising the first generation of youth who will live sicker and shorter lives than their parents. Prevalence rates show a tripling of overweight children in the last two decades. Preliminary local data show significantly higher than national average rates of obesity in Lincoln children of lower socioeconomic status. Not all Lincoln children have access to healthy foods, safe and green spaces for play and exercise, and safe routes to schools.
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The mission of Teach a Kid to Fish (TKF) is to prevent and reduce childhood obesity by empowering Lincoln children and families to eat healthy and be active. Teach a Kid to Fish envisions creating community solutions for children’s health.
Teach a Kid to Fish further defines itself by the values that guide the organization’s thinking and actions:
- Relationship Building
Teach a Kid to Fish is an organization dedicated to addressing the childhood obesity epidemic through utilization of the collaborative advantage. TKF is the only organization in Lincoln that is specifically committed to uniting organizations and community members to focus on a shared mission and commit to implementing measurable solutions that prevent and reduce childhood obesity among Lincoln children.
Childhood Obesity Defined
Overweight and obesity is defined in children by the Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement, or the measure of weight adjusted for height using age and gender specific growth charts. BMI is defined as weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of height (in meters). BMI levels correlate with body fat and also correlate with concurrent health risks, especially cardiovascular risk factors. For children, the distribution of BMI changes with age. As a result, percentiles specific for age and gender define underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obesity in children. Obesity risk is also determined by screening family history, assessing physical activity and nutrition behaviors, a review of systems and physical examination for co-morbidities, which taken altogether determine the need for intervention.
The childhood obesity epidemic has reached alarming levels. It is an epidemic affecting not only the physical health of children, families, and community, but also their psychosocial, academic, and economic potential. Multiple studies show increasing levels over the last thirty years, with a tripling of prevalence over that time period. Obese children face a myriad of health, emotional and social consequences as a result of this epidemic. At least 1/3 of Lincoln’s children are considered overweight or obese. Minority children, impoverished children, and children who live in certain Lincoln neighborhoods without access to healthy foods and safe play spaces are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic. These populations have even higher rates of obesity, diabetes, early heart disease and are at risk for shorter life expectancies. Working in partnership with community members, Teach a Kid to Fish envisions creating a community solution to this growing epidemic.
To carry out its mission and realize its vision, Teach a Kid to Fish has set the following long-term goals that this plan will address:
- Mobilize the community to empower children and families to eat healthy and be active
- Provide prevention and treatment programs ranging from early childhood to adolescence
- Increase access and promotion of healthy foods
- Increase safe physical activity opportunities
To help set goals aimed at achieving its mission and realizing its vision, TKF has defined four areas of focus within the community-at-large:
- Schools and youth
- Early Childhood
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