Wende Parker talks Sharing Spaces
Mark Anderson of Cobb County School District
Sharing Spaces Program
On this week’s episode we focused on how the Cobb-Douglas Department of Public Health is working to reduce rates of childhood obesity. The Sharing Spaces program and Power Up for 30 program both aim to facilitate more physical activity among our student-aged populations.
Childhood obesity is rising among our young people at alarming rates. The American Heart Association’s website explains: “Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. There are also psychological effects: Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression. And excess weight at young ages has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood.”
On this week’s episode we focused on two more programs that are part of the Cobb 2020 initiative. Created and implemented by the Cobb Douglas Department of Public Health under the direction of Dr. Jack Kennedy, aims to address a number of public health concerns that erode level of health and quality of life for many of the over 850,000 resident who live there.
One key area of focus is childhood obesity among student aged residents of Cobb and Douglas Counties. Among the 29 public health programs that make up the Cobb2020 initiative are the Power Up for 30 and the Sharing Spaces programs. These are programs focused on getting young students moving more throughout their school day and beyond.
I sat down with District Director for Chronic Disease and Injury, Wende Parker, and Mark Anderson, Supervisor for Health and Phys Ed for the Cobb Co School District to learn more about how these programs work and the resources they’re hoping to identify in the community.
The sharing spaces program seeks to partner with community organizations that have playgrounds, gyms, tracks, and trails, giving area residents access to these resources, particularly young people.
In this way, the community will see declines in rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and others, and students enjoy academic performance upticks to boot.
Wende Parker, District Director of Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention, Cobb-Douglas Dept. of Public Health
- BS Exercise Science, Community Health, University of Southern Mississippi
- Previous Program Manager, Child Fatality Review, Eastern GA, State of Georgia Office of the Child Advocate
Mark Anderson, Supervisor, Health & Physical Education, Cobb County School District