What is Generation Fit?
Generation Fit is an American Cancer Society program that encourages students ages 11 to 18 take part in community service projects that promote more physical activity and healthier eating among their friends and families, and in their schools and communities. Kids who take part come away better educated about good nutrition and the need to stay physically active, two important ways to improve their health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Equally important, participating schools and youth groups have reported Generation Fit efforts have resulted in changes that make it easier for kids (and their families) to live healthier lives: healthier foods in cafeterias; walking trails, and even changes in communities that have resulted in more opportunities for physical activity. Generation Fit is a resource to help encourage youth to live healthier lives and to build their skills to be important change agents for health in their schools, in their families, and in their communities.
How does it work?
Coaches, counselors, and youth group leaders can easily run the program with its detailed suggestions for 5 activities:
- Food for Thought: Trying New Recipes in Your Cafeteria
- Message Magic: Selling Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
- Lending a Helping Hand: Planning Meals for Those in Need
- Team Up for Good Health: Improving Habits with a Partner
- Let’s Get Moving: Making Physical Activity a Priority in Our Community
Students tailor these ideas to their own schools and communities, and they have been used in many creative ways. One group prepared a meal for a homeless shelter. Another group of sixth graders taught good health habits to younger students by taking them on walks and giving them healthy snacks. Students at another middle school got some of their favorite healthy foods added to the cafeteria menu.
What can you expect?
In addition to learning habits that can help them maintain good health for a lifetime, children who participate in Generation Fit also learn how to plan a community action, work together in a group, and carry out their plans with the help of adult leaders.
Last Revised: 03/29/2013