Michigan children have been portrayed as some of the least fit, least active, most overweight in the nation. Without a community-wide, multi pronged effort, these poor lifestyle habits will likely follow children into adulthood.

Pursuing its mission to improve the health of the people in our communities, Sparrow took the lead in organizing the region’s collective resources to tackle this issue head-on.

Fitness Initiative Targeting Kids, or FITKids, uses fun, engaging and creative nutrition and fitness activities to get young people on the road to better health.

The program enlists students, parents, school staff and medical and fitness professionals to encourage children to increase physical activity and make healthier eating choices. Building exercise and nutrition skills now will make for healthier young people in years to come.

FITKids hopes to increase how much fruits and vegetables youngsters eat; lower their intake of fast, fatty foods; reduce how many high-sugar beverages and sports drinks they have; and, spur them to exercise regularly.

FITKids seeks to bring the region’s experience and expertise to create a model school-based program. It assesses the health and fitness of middle school students, supports and expands school-based lessons in nutrition and physical activity, and builds on a school environment to motivate and support healthy lifestyle choices.