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Grant Funding For South King County Cities to Combat Childhood Obesity

September 2, 2014

For more information contact:
Terry Higashiyama
, City of Renton Community Services Administrator, thigashiyama@rentonwa.gov 425-430-6606
Doug Williams, King County Parks, Doug-Media.Williams@kingcounty.gov 206-477-4543
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, pshridhar@rentonwa.gov 425-430-6569

King County Parks and seven south King County cities have teamed up to add outdoor fitness equipment for youth and teens and their families to encourage healthy living and exercise as part of the “I” CANN healthy living initiative to combat childhood obesity.
“Kids might think of playground equipment as something that’s just for fun, but we know the exercise and other benefits that youth get while at a playground are essential to their development, and we are proud of our partnership role in this initiative,” notes Kevin Brown, King County Parks Director

Through the south King County Community Activity Nutrition Network initiative (“I” CANN), local south County cities, King County Public Health, King County Parks, local hospitals, schools, businesses and organizations are working to help educate children and families about this chronic health issue and promoting healthy activity opportunities and nutritional information. “We all own part of the responsibility to move this initiative forward and to help people in our communities make healthy choices,” said Terry Higashiyama, City of Renton Community Services Administrator. “By combining resources, we can tackle this issue as a team in a positive manner,” added Higashiyama.

The "I"CANN mission is fourfold:

  • Educate local city, school, business and faith-based leaders about obesity and the resulting chronic health issues as well as the alarming disparities that exist in south King County
  • Collaborate and engage with leaders to leverage current resources around activity and nutrition, identify and fill gaps in resources, and participate in policy development and support.
  • Offer a comprehensive resource portal that ties together available options for outdoor activities, community sports & fitness, school sports, physical activity facilities, food assistance programs, nutrition and cooking classes, and education/tools for tracking activity and nutrition goals.
  • Conduct extensive outreach through local city, school, business and faith-based organizations to their constituents, identify those in need and provide a portal of activity and nutrition resources.

A $100,000 King County Youth Sports Facilities Grant provided funding for the outdoor fitness and pulse equipment at the following local parks around south King County.

  • Les Gove Park (910 9th Street SE, Auburn) - Pulse Tennis Equipment
  • Lake Burien School Memorial Park (1620 SW 149th St, Burien) - Pulse Tennis Equipment
  • Steven J. Underwood Park (21800 20th Ave. S., Des Moines) - 2 Cardio Steppers; Ab Crunch/Leg Lift
  • West Fenwick Park (3808 Reith Road, Kent) - Chest/Back Press, Pull UP/Dip, Ab Crunch, Balance Steps, and Assisted Row Piece
  • Liberty Park (1101 Bronson Way N., Renton) - 3 Cardio Steppers
  • Valley Ridge Park (4644 S. 188th, SeaTac) - Pulse Tempo
  • Foster Memorial Park (13919 53rd Avenue South, Tukwila) - Cardio Stepper, Chest/Back Press, Plyometrics, Pull up/dip

According to Public Health – Seattle King County, youth obesity has many serious consequences and can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and breathing and joint problems. Obesity in childhood is likely to continue into adulthood, and increases the risk for serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition, overweight children are more likely to be severely obese as adults. South King County has a higher rate of youth obesity than the rest of the County, with 25% percent of youth being overweight or obese.