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Healthy Futures Month

Effective Date: Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

WHEREAS, regular physical activity is essential for the health and well-being of people of all ages, with benefits including reduced risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and several types of cancer; and

WHEREAS, for children, regular physical activity and healthy diets are linked to stronger academic achievement, increased concentration, and improved math, reading, and writing scores; and

WHEREAS, approximately 34 percent of adults in the United States today are obese, including nearly 25 percent of Alaskans; and

WHEREAS, since 1980, obesity rates among children and adolescents has tripled nationwide. Today, approximately three in ten children in Alaska are considered overweight or obese; and

WHEREAS, it is crucial that adults encourage youth to participate in regular physical activity as it leads to better attendance, a more positive attitude, better self-esteem, less anxiety and stress, improved behavior, and superior academic performance; and

WHEREAS, experts recommend that youth should participate in vigorous physical activity each day, as physical inactivity has been identified as a risk factor for many diseases and conditions; and

WHEREAS, the Healthy Futures Challenge began in 2003 to encourage Alaska’s young people to establish a habit of daily physical activity. This year, an estimated 16,000 students from 125 schools have signed up to participate in the three month long challenge across more than 50 communities; and

WHEREAS, participants in the Healthy Futures Challenge are encouraged to incorporate an extra 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity into their daily routines at least three times per week, to build a healthy future.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim February 2012 as:

Healthy Futures Month

in Alaska, and call upon Alaska’s educators, parents, and community members to join our youth and participate in the Healthy Futures Challenge from February through April of this year. Together, we can build habits of daily physical activity that lead to healthy futures.

Dated: January 26, 2012

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