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RSG! Celebrates National Public Health Week

Ready Set, Gold! proudly supports National Public Health Week (April 3-9).

Did you know that nearly one in three kids in America are either overweight or obese and at risk of developing a chronic illness? That is an alarming statistic.

As Ready, Set, Gold! wraps up its 9th year, we want to remind everyone about the importance of nutrition and exercise.

The food we eat and the amount of exercise we incorporate into our daily lives affects more than just the size of our waistbands. There’s a direct link between poor nutrition and many of the leading causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

Healthy eating is important at any age, but the food on a young person’s plate can shape his or her health and growth for life.

For more information visit

Track Cycling World Cup

 Olympian Giddeon Massie took a few of the students at LA Leadership Middle School on a field trip to see the Track Cycling World Cup held at University of California, Irvine this year! Thanks for inspiring our future leaders to stay active and healthy Giddeon!


Eat Healthy!

Eating healthy is just as important as staying active! Take a look at this video by Bariatric Physician Dr. Amy Lee on how to improve what you eat.


Curling & Karaoke!

Who says exercising is boring?! Here’s our RSG! Director Bernadine Bednarz at a curling and karaoke event with some of our RSG! Olympians and Paralympians! Happy Monday and remember to keep staying active!

City Council Approves LA 2024 Bid

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously (13-0) on Wednesday in support of bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to L.A. in 2024.

A parade of over 60 athletes spanning a half-century of Olympics turned out at downtown’s City Hall for the official proceedings. The L.A. bid faces stiff competition going against finalists Paris and Budapest, with the IOC ultimately voting on the winning city on September 13.

Ready, Set, Gold! was proud to play an important role in yesterday’s event, as more than a dozen of our Olympians and Paralympians participated in the festivities.

RSG! Mourns Passing of Olympian Sammy Lee

Ready, Set, Gold! expresses its sympathy on the passing of Olympian Sammy Lee, who died this weekend at the age of 96.  Sammy and was an integral part of RSG! during its inaugural year in 2006.


New York City and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Obesity Declines

New York City and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Obesity Declines

By Risa Lavizzo-Mourey and Nancy Brown

“Severe Childhood Obesity Shows a Decline in New York City.” You might have seen the headlines earlier this month.

It wasn’t long ago that we never saw stories like that.

For decades, it was nothing but bad news – one story after another about a rapidly growing epidemic. Just two years ago, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Healthpredicted that, if trends continued the way they seemed to be going, more than 60% of adults in 13 states would be obese by the year 2030 – and have the extremely high medical bills to prove it.

But now, we’re finally starting to see signs of progress against an epidemic that was once feared to be unstoppable. Overall childhood obesity rates have stabilized. For the first time in a decade, datashow a downward trend in obesity rates among young children from low-income families in many states. And, we’re seeing reports from cities and states that their overall rates of childhood obesity are decreasing: from California to West Virginia; from Anchorage, Alaska to New York City.

New York is a great example of a place taking a comprehensive, community-wide approach to reducing childhood obesity. The city has required group child-care centers to improve nutrition and nutrition education, increase physical activity, and limit screen time. “Health Bucks” enable lower-income families to maximize their purchasing power for fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers’ markets. The city’s Department of Design and Construction provides architects and urban designers with guidelines for designing buildings, streets and urban spaces that support physical activity. Chain restaurants are required to post calorie information on menus, enabling customers to make more informed decisions. The education and health departments have collaborated on the “Move-to-Improve” program, which helps teachers incorporate physical activity through the school day.

We’re thrilled that these approaches appear to be paying off, but here’s the thing about that recentstudy on the most severe obesity cases: White children saw a more significant decrease than Latino or African-American kids.

This was true for overall obesity rates as well: Childhood obesity rates among White K-8 students in New York dropped from 17.6% in 2006 to 15.4% in 2010 – an impressive 2.2 percentage point decline. But the drop among Hispanic and African-American students was far less, just 0.9 and 0.4 percentage points, respectively. The disparity among upper- and lower-income students was even greater, a 1.4 percentage point decline compared to 0.7 percentage points.

This means that despite the overall progress, the disparities gap may actually be widening in New York.

In this respect, New York City truly illustrates where we are in this epidemic. Progress is possible, and happening, but this progress runs the risk of leaving some of our young people behind, and too many of those at greatest risk.

There is one notable exception to this rule—Philadelphia.  In Philadelphia, they’ve managed to reduce childhood obesity prevalence while also reducing obesity-related disparities.

Like New York, Philadelphia has addressed the obesity problem from many angles. The city, along with groups like the Food Trust, pioneered new financing strategies to bring full-service grocery stores back to underserved neighborhoods. The city improved food and physical activity in schools, and was one of the first jurisdictions in the country to remove all sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks from public school vending machines.  In schools with American Heart Association Teaching Gardens, children grow their own healthy produce, and learn about the value of good eating habits.Complete streets policies make it easy and appealing for people to walk and bike throughout the city. More farmers’ markets are opening all the time across the city, and they use smart incentivesto help lower-income residents afford fresh produce. Corner stores are offering healthy products and using in-store placement and marketing techniques that are boosting sales.

And guess what? Childhood obesity there fell 4.7 percent – and the biggest declines were reported for African American boys and Hispanic girls: 7.6 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

Tips to Increase Students’ Physical Activity

posted on Mon, Mar 24 2014 11:45 am by Sherilynn Rawson, Elementary School Principal, Woodburn, OR

When it comes to leading healthier lives, we all know the importance of moving more. And this is DEFINITELY true when it comes to fighting childhood obesity in schools. In Oregon, our lawmakers thought it was so important that they have even upped the required number of minutes of physical activity for K-12 students: by 2017-18 students in grades K-5 will have to have at least 150 weekly minutes of physical education, and students in grades 6-8 will have to have at least 225 weekly PE minutes.

If you’re like most of us, you are wondering how in the world you can find the time and means to add more physical activity without breaking your schedule or your budget. It sounds challenging, but there are realistic ways to tackle the job. Based on my experience as an elementary school principal, here are my top five tips for low-cost to no-cost ways to increase students’ physical activity, without breaking your budget, your schedule, or your sanity.

1. Use the resources you already have. Talk to your staff to see if people already have the knowledge and skills to help. You might have teachers who are dancers, Zumba instructors, and yoga experts. You never know until you ask!

2. Build physical activity into daily routines so it doesn’t take away from instruction. Look at using transitions, calendar time, math drills, etc. as times to build in physical activity.

3. Use low-cost materials that are already aligned to state and/or national physical education standards. Programs like Take Ten and SPARK have lots of suggestions for physical activity for teachers that are easy to use as activity breaks and as ways to integrate physical activity with instruction.

4. Be flexible. Not every grade needs to schedule their physical activity in the same way. Little ones might need several short PA breaks throughout the day. Older kids might need one longer period.

5. Be creative. Look for all of the “down times” that students have in between instructional periods (maybe they are sitting in the gym before school starts, or standing in lines waiting for transitions between classes in the hallway). You might be surprised to find opportunities to add physical activity throughout the day without touching instructional minutes at all