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Udall, Kind Renew Push to Connect Kids with Nature, Address Childhood Obesity

Healthy Kids Outdoors Act Will Broaden Support for Local Programs to Improve Physical, Mental Health

Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

U.S. Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Ron Kind today reintroduced their common-sense plan to help children connect with healthy, active, outdoor lifestyles. The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act helps combat childhood obesity by giving kids better access to outdoor activities through support for local, state and federal initiatives.

"Coloradans know our mountains, parks and open spaces are essential to our special way of life. But as study after study shows childhood obesity rates are increasing, we must do more to connect our kids with opportunities for outdoor adventure," Udall said. "The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act supports local initiatives across the United States to ensure our kids everywhere have access to outdoor recreational opportunities and they can reap the numerous benefits of an active lifestyle."

"Young people today spend less time engaged in outdoor activity than any other generation in history, which takes a serious physical and mental toll on them at a critical time in their development," Kind said. "This bill provides tools for our state and local leaders to find new opportunities to promote active, healthy outdoor lifestyles to our kids. And by starting early in life, young people are more likely to care for their health and their natural surroundings as adults who will then pass those values on to future generations."

The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act provides incentives for states to develop action plans to connect children and families to the great outdoors. The proposal also would create a national strategy to increase outdoor activity and, through coordination with federal and local partners, further identify the health, conservation and other benefits of spending time outdoors.

The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act is supported by the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Izaak Walton League of America and YMCA of the USA.

By: Alyssa Roberts
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