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Health Check Kids: Raising awareness of childhood wellness

Rhode Island Kids Count monitors what's working in our schools to improve children's overall health and well-being. (WJAR)

Introducing Health Check Kids. This is a partnership between NBC 10 News and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Most every Thursday throughout the school year, we will be highlighting the many programs out there available to our kids. We’ll also talk about those that are being proposed.

"People are eating on the fly. Too much prepared food," said Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director at Rhode Island Kids Count. "Making children get really excited about the source of their food supply like this community garden, what Michelle Obama did in the White House, all of those things, I think, add up to increased awareness."

Rhode Island Kids Count monitors what's working in our schools to improve children's overall health and well-being. So is Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

"We wholeheartedly believe in giving kids a chance because, one, a third of Rhode Island children are either overweight or obese so getting them to form habits early in life is really important," said Kim Keck, President and CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

One of those Blue Cross programs is Recess Rocks, which involves teaching the educators how to have a structured and productive recess, according to Keck.

Over the coming weeks and months we'll talk about programs like Recess Rocks and Girls on the Run as well as one of the initiatives in the works, which includes tracking kids' body mass index, or BMI.

"One of our key priorities at Kids Count is to really push the state to have a regular source of data that we can track annually," said Burke Bryant. "We have a great partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. We are being data sleuths."

"We're trying to understand the starting line. Are we solving the issues, so data and tracking matters,” said Keck.


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