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Making a Statement for Good Health

Principal Jon Wolf Honored with Leadership in Health, Nutrition & Education Award

Earlier this month, Orchard Park High School Principal Jon Wolf was honored with the HUMAN Leadership in Health, Nutrition & Education Award. Principal Wolf was given this recognition for his decision to provide his students with healthy vending machines.

Principal Wolf knew the effects of junk food on his students, so he took a proactive step in offering healthier snacks. In the height of the childhood obesity epidemic in America, he knew something had to be done.

We were able to ask Principal Wolf a couple questions about his experience with healthy vending:

Why is it important to help kids learn about healthy vending?

“It’s a lifelong thing that they needed to know; rather than fill themselves up with stuff that’s high in fat, calories, and sugar, we’re looking to something healthier, to start that trend younger, so that lifelong, they’re into healthier eating as adults. We’ve done that with our food service also, so we’re trying to enculture that with the kids right out of the box.”

How has the commission compared to your previous service?

“Although we had a commitment to doing healthier things, we didn’t want to see it as a tremendous drop off in funding. We haven’t seen that yet, after 10 weeks we are right there with it. So, it’s a ‘win-win,’ because we have healthier options in the building and it hasn’t been at the cost of fundraising for the clubs.”

What was the student reaction?

“There was a buzz when it first started because they were new and the kids were into it. I think it appeals to kids because of the video screen on top. It’s been well received by the students–students were thanking us at the beginning for putting those things in there and making them accessible.”

What is your favorite element of the HUMAN machine?

“It’s an attractive machine and our other machines were kind of beat up. So when you come into the building and look down the hall, it’s one of the first things that you see when you enter…and it’s a nice presentation. We’ve been spending some time doing upgrades in terms of the facilities and that kind of blends right in. It’s kind of cutting edge, which appeals to kids because it’s high-tech, and they like that.”

Congratulations, Principal Wolf and the entire Orchard Park High School staff and students!

Want to hear more? Watch the entire interview:

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Top 10 Shocking Stats on Childhood Obesity

We know that the childhood obesity epidemic is constantly on the rise, but these ten statistics prove it’s way more serious than we think:

1. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years.

2. 70% of obese youth aged 5-17 have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

3. Children and adolescents who are obese are at a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and poor self-esteem. Sleep Apnea and poor self-esteem might have the difference of day and night, but both the conditions are horses on the same cart and require immediate medication.

4. Almost one in four children does not participate in any free-time physical activity

5. A typical American youth spends approximately four to five hours a day watching TV, using the computer, or playing video games.

6. Children treated for obesity are roughly three times more expensive for the health care system than children of normal weight.

7. Based on USDA diet specifications, only 2% of American children have a healthy diet.

8. Overweight children miss four times more school than normal weight children.

9. One study showed that 80% of schools had at least one fast food establishment within a ten-minute walk.

10. Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

*All facts sourced from Center for Disease Control and the Clinton Foundation

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