The ‘nPlay Foundation is a Childhood Obesity Foundation that needs our help Sports Techie. They are a not-for-profit 501 ©(3) Foundation that raises money to support physical education and activity programs in low income areas with the highest rate of childhood obesity. Pause, now read that last sentence again.
Basically, we all need to get onboard and support ‘nPlay right now so that the future of our children is not one that faces serious health risks and also puts a financial burden onto all our citizens down the road. The fact is one in three children are obese. Learn more about ‘nPlay and obesity facts here: http://www.nplayfoundation.org/about-2/.
For every million dollars ‘nPlay raises, they can help 100,000 children. Professional athletes Jennie Finch, Grant Hill, Paul Pierce and Summer Sanders, plus 32 others from 15 sports have joined together and are part of their team that has the goal of providing every kid with a chance to stay healthy and in shape while doing it with fun. Grant Hill Youtube video.
When you think about all the facts and stigma associated with obesity, it simply does not have to be that way. Much like any sport league that still does not implement instant replay, it does not have to be that way. That is why Sports Techie supports the ‘nPlay goal of raising funds that can be put directly back into schools in order for institutions to obtain the tools to help change their internal culture and curriculums to one of health and wellness while meeting the criteria of the USDA’s HealthierUS Schools Challenge.
I began Sports Techie as a resource and community for all things sports technology. One of our missions is to help cure Muscular Dystrophy (I was a care attendant for twins that have MD), support foodbanks with healthier food choices, and eliminating all obesity.
Going into 7th grade in Redmond, WA, my Uncle Bill straight out told me I was obese. Honestly, I did not even know what that word meant other than it did not feel too good inside to be labeled as such. According to WebMD: obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. A child is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. “Morbid obesity” is when a person is either 50%-100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight, or is sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with health or normal function. Ironically, technological advances have developed products that measure precise levels of BMI, or body mass index so there is no hiding the factual numbers about obesity for both kids and adults.
In hindsight, I would like to thank Uncle Bill for his candor and message that being obese is not something you have to live with. Sometimes the truth does hurt but at the same time it can set you free. I ended up having a sea of change and jogged for the first time ever with my since deceased bf Derek who motivated me to go run with him. Since then, I have stayed the course of weight maintenance on what my Dad calls “a lifetime battle” by maintained a healthy diet combined with plenty of exercise and proper rest. Educating myself, having parents who cared and taking baby steps, were all key to changing my internal culture and making this so. This can happen for every kid too thanks to ‘nPlay.
No, this blog is not about me. It is about the millions of kids here in America and the billions worldwide who are creeping towards or at alarming obesity levels. Yes, technology is partly to blame for allowing kids to stay sedentary rather than be active. And sure, it is easy to blame the advancement of video games as the one of the primary reason kids are obese. The thought is rather than play outside, kids are now ‘couch potatoes’ who only care about gaming and not getting actual physical activity. We all know that is simply an excuse.
Kids are resilient and just do what they can get away with. It takes a kid to know a kid and since we were all kids ourselves once, just remember that fact next time you are faced with the challenge of how to deal with a stubborn student, son or daughter, niece or nephew, or even neighbors, inactivity.
This is why ‘nPlay makes so much common sense for the greater good. By empowering schools to help change the mindset of this generation of yutes, kids will take these newly learned core values around with them for the rest of their lives and the sea of change happens for them.
According to co-founder Eric Cohen, “the ‘nPlay group of world class athletes has committed themselves on both a national and local level to help and encourage students’, teachers and parents strive for a healthier lifestyle so our children can have the futures they deserve. ‘nPlay is a peer-to-peer movement where one athlete asks another to join.” These are sound fundamental sportsbiz principles.
The billion dollar question remains: How do we get this done?
Here is where being Sports Techie is part of the answer I believe. I feel that in order to reach kids, you need to speak their language. Technology is what kids know so we need to use it so they can lose it. With the advancements of exercise equipment technology, it can be an ultra fun experience to get on a stationary bike or elliptical trainer and start the process of weight loss. I used to work selling high-tech LifeFitness exercise equipment and believe me, they have innovated fitness equipment with computer programs that amp up the level of fun and play and make it not just work. Perhaps ‘nPlay could develop their own line of sports tech fitness equipment that becomes a standard in our public school systems.
By the time you read this blog, another zillion kids will have a smartphone. Of course, that is an exaggeration but Sports Techie knows that over time, technology gets better and goes down in price. In fact, read this brand new article by Mashable about ‘What Will the Smartphone Market Look Like in 2015’ and notice that Apple, who is losing market share, is now looking at cheaper alternatives. Read Mashable.
Why not develop ‘nPlay Apps that synch with fitness products in advance so by the time the actual money is raised for manufacturing custom fitness products, the Apps are already being used by teachers and children with a high user adoption rate?
These interactive Apps could help kids learn to count calories. The formula is simple. A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. If you have a calorie deficit of 5000 calories (meaning that you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose about one pound per week or 500 x 7 = 3500. As a former personal trainer, I know how to motivate others to lose weight and you must set goals in order to achieve them which makes kids, teachers and parents the right combination to instigate losing 500 calories in a safe way while increasing the nutritional value of school food intake on a National scale.
If we add in virtual games that offer reward incentives for achieving set weight loss and exercise goals such as financial stipends that can be used by students to help fund a college education, we are really onto something Sports Techie.
Ask yourself this: how much will it cost to treat obese kids as adults and senior citizens when facing hyper-tension, cancer, depression and many more health related diseases? The costs will be frighteningly astronomical quite frankly. Kids love money and learning so why not let them earn cash that can only be used for tuition later in their lives? The money spent on high-tech fitness equipment and Apps today will be far less than the amount spent on healthcare in the future for the by then obese adults, while at the same time, help to reinvigorate their lifelong love of learning.
The First Lady implemented a program in February, 2010 called ‘Let’s Move’ http://www.letsmove.gov. ‘nPlay is aligned fundamentally to support her vision. By using Federal Government components, Mrs. Obama has the umbrella in Let’s Move that covers other programs.
One such program is the USDA and the HeathlierUS Schools Challenge http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html. Places like the Mississippi Delta, Georgia, Miami Dade, Los Angeles and the Bronx are Food Deserts. They have pinpointed these desperate cities to begin turning the tide of our childhood obesity epidemic. Eric shared that the Pacific Northwest is in fact one of the healthiest areas in the U.S.. Monetary incentive awards are now available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction. ‘nPlay is working together with the USDA HealthierUS Schools Challenge, however, to actually be successful, they need funding yesterday.
Buying nutritious food is not cheap for schools and families. When faced with a purchase decision of a $2.00 tomato or two $.99 plain burgers with ketchup, the decision is easy to make. By using our inner-city schools as the platform to change the core competencies of nutrition, exercise and motivation, we start to win this lifetime battle at an age when it matters the most, childhood.
‘nPlay is a bootstrapped startup just like Sports Techie is. I am one, they are four. It is safe to say that our innovative companies are both out to make a difference and the synergy is there between us to work together eliminating childhood obesity in the inner-cities of our United States of America, imo.
As part of a personal guerilla marketing campaign to spport ‘nPlay, I have targeted the Gates Foundation here in Seattle to not be reactive and instead be proacive by joining this cause. Retweet this blog to them if you will please so they can feel that you support the ‘nPlay Foundations mission: http://twitter.com/gatesfoundation.
If you have the capacity to make any kind of financial difference as a person or Corporation to help attack our Nations childhood obesity epidemic today, I suggest donating to the ‘nPlay Foundation.