Friday, October 1, 2010

Technology Helps Kids Get Healthy

Screen time, or the time that people spend in front of (you guessed it) screens, has been increasing steadily over the years, especially in the case of children. Not surprisingly, screen time is strongly associated with childhood obesity. Instead of playing outside, kids are spending more and more time in front of their computers, iPods, TVs and movie screens where they are exposed to marketing campaigns encouraging them to chow down on froot loops and oreos. Knowing that kids absorb ideas like sponges during screen time is tremendously beneficial to marketers and advertisers, but it can also come in handy for more positive endeavours, like education in the area of nutrition and physical activity.

Using screen time and technology as tools, US First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack know that they can get through to kids and get them thinking about Nutrition and Physical activity. They have decided to create a contest for students, software developers, designers and organizations to design new and fun 'Food apps' that would help kids make nutritious choices. According to Vilsack, "The next generation—and health-conscious people of all ages—are plugged into their cell phones and computers,".

There are some super-fun and creative apps out there that kids (and grown-ups) can check out here for a crash course in nutrition! We just love this idea and can't wait to see what other new initiatives for kids and adults alike will start to surface in the not-too-distant future!