August 23, 2010

NB3 Foundation fights obesity

NB3 Foundation to expand programs to fight obesity among Native youth

By Will ChavezA major health issue for Native people today is obesity and poor fitness levels, especially among the youth. In 2005, the NB3 Foundation led by pro golfer Notah Begay (Navajo/San Felipe/Isleta) began to work on addressing health issues such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes facing Native American youth on reservations by building awareness and raising funds.

The funds were used to fund golf and soccer teams for Native youth including the sponsorship of a soccer club for children on the San Felipe reservation north of Albuquerque.
And:Statistics gathered by the NB3 Foundation show 60 percent of children at San Felipe are overweight.

“So statistically, we are fighting some serious numbers at San Felipe, and unfortunately it’s not just San Felipe-specific,” Echo Hawk said. “We are seeing similar rates of children being overweight and/or obese in tribal communities. The average now is well over a third of our children in tribal communities are obese.”

However, at San Felipe the soccer programs are making a difference because the NB3 Foundation with help from the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health has seen “significant” improvement in children in their overall physical fitness after 10 weeks in the program.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see 2nd NB3 Challenge Raises $1 Million and Tiger Wins 2nd NB3 Challenge.

Below:  "San Felipe Pueblo leaders take part in a May 6 groundbreaking ceremony for a youth soccer field with NB3 founder Notah Begay, far right. The collegiate-size field was recently completed and will serve the pueblo’s youth soccer club." (Photo courtesy of the NB3 Foundation)

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