According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years and some experts predict that children today may belong to the first generation in American history to have a shorter life-span than their parents. While it’s become a major health issue that continues to affect many of our customers and their families, it’s also an opportunity to bring the local community together to educate and focus on becoming healthier. For many, the decision to eat healthy begins at the supermarket and Ahold USA and our retail divisions are committed to helping the community, especially our kids, make healthier choices. As part of our leadership to connect parents, caregivers and kids to the local resources available to help and important nutrition / exercise information, our retail divisions have hosted more than a dozen Healthy Kids Summits since 2011. Each free event is open to the public and has been held both within the produce section of our stores, and also at local athletic facilities, and health centers. The main focus of the Healthy Kids Summits is how to make sure kids are getting the nutrition and exercise their bodies need as they continue to grow both physically and mentally. Several of the summits have incorporated hands-on activities and exercise to get kids involved right there on the spot.
The main focus of each Healthy Kids Summit is an interactive panel discussion led by local community leaders and health experts who share the common bond of helping our kids stay active and be healthy. Driven by the divisions’ relationships within the local community, panelists have included pediatricians, school lunch administrators, local elected officials, health nonprofits focused on youths, athletes, and other subject matter experts. To tie back to the resources available in our stores, each Healthy Kids Summit also includes an in-store nutritionist. In addition, Ahold USA’s health and wellness and marketing teams have supported the Healthy Kids Summits by offering informational materials and driving community awareness and attendance for each event.
As a grocery store company, Ahold USA and our retail divisions provide an abundance of healthy food choices and an opportunity to help families where food purchasing decisions are made. By hosting Healthy Kids Summits, it’s an opportunity for parents, teachers, retailers and the community to come together to educate families about the issue of childhood obesity and work together to alleviate the growing epidemic in an effort to help children learn to eat healthy.
Well over 1000 parents, kids and community leaders have attended the Healthy Kids Summits that have been held to date and thousands more have become aware of the issue and healthy eating tips by reading and watching the various media clips and articles that have been secured as a result of promoting these events. A couple of examples of the community benefits of Healthy Kids Summits, include: On Oct. 22, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC hosted its third "Healthy Kids Summit" in 2012 which took place at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. More than 300 local residents, customers, families and children came together for the informative and interactive event which provided attendees with the essential information, advice and tips needed to live an overall healthier lifestyle. It’s important to make sure kids are getting the nutrition and exercise their bodies need as they continue to grow both physically and mentally. GIANT Food Stores and the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center are committed to helping the community, especially kids, live healthier lifestyles. In an effort to educate parents, caregivers, and others in the York and Central Pennsylvania communities about the issue of childhood obesity and what can be done to alleviate the growing epidemic, GIANT will host a Healthy Kids Summit, featuring local experts discussing the subject on Tuesday, September 25 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon at the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center, 515 South George Street in York.
“The Healthy Kids Summits are an innovative combination of a public policy discussion on an important issue we face in America as well as providing practical tips for families to make small, easy changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle. We work collaboratively with local experts to raise awareness about the troubling trend of childhood obesity and identify local resources along with in-store information available to help. Kids learn by example and healthy eating habits can be reinforced at home, at school and in the grocery store, which will lend itself to healthier outcomes for our youngest customers in the future.” - Carl Schlicker, COO, Ahold USA
"Having the right resources and knowing what nutrients are important for your body is vital to a balanced lifestyle,” said Patrick Chung, safety for the New England Patriots. “Healthy Kids Summits are a great way to share this knowledge with the community." "We are thrilled to partner with Stop & Shop to promote healthy living in an effort to improve the quality of life for children and families," said Ed Hurley, President Hockomock Area YMCA. "The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been working to make healthy eating and active living part of peoples' everyday lives through Mass in Motion - a statewide obesity prevention initiative," said Julianna Valcour, RD, MEd, school nutrition policy consultant, Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "The kids and their parents all had a great time at the Healthy Kids Summit and learned useful tips on how to eat better and move more every day."