Recognizing that the health and well-being of children is fundamental to the progress of the United States, President Calvin Coolidge in 1928 created Child Health Day. Now celebrating its 85th year, the State of Tennessee is taking it a step further and declaring October 7-13 Child Health Week. In his proclamation marking Child Health Week, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam pointed out that “Tennessee has a longstanding history of promoting child health, from being the first state in the nation to pass child safety seat legislation to recent recognition as a national leader in the areas of childhood immunization and school vending policies.” He also declares that the “healthy lifestyles of Tennessee children today will fortify the welfare and progress of the state in the future … reducing the burden of health problems like infant mortality, childhood obesity, asthma and preventable injury.” We all have a role in this, he adds. “Tennesseans can positively impact the well-being of children through the encouragement and promotion of healthy lifestyles.”
With our multi-year and multi-platformed Children’s Health Crisis project and series, we have taken this responsibility to the state’s children perhaps more seriously than we have any other project undertaken at the station. To mark Child Health Weath, and act in partnership with many of the other organizations around the state working to benefit children’s health, we are rebroadcasting three of our Children’s Health Crisis documentaries, two of which have been updated to reflect new statistics and data and incorporate fresh perspectives.
On Wednesday, October 9 it’s NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis “Prevention” at 9pm, followed at 9:30pm by “Mental Health.” “Prevention,” which originally aired in February 2011, explores a view of health that extends beyond medical care; where healthy lifestyle choices are accessible, affordable and a part of everyday life. It now includes updated data and statistics. “Mental Health,” which premiered in June 2011, explores what it means to be mentally healthy and what it looks like when children are struggling with social, emotional and behavioral health issues.
On Thursday, October 10 at 9pm, we present an updated version of “Obesity,” which originally appeared in November 2010. The doc focuses on the epidemic of childhood obesity, its causes and likely repercussions for our children, and calls attention to the fact that the current generation of children, pre-teens and teenagers may be the first generation to have shorter life spans than their parents. In addition to updated data and statistics, it also includes new interviews with current Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, and Megan Morton, executive director of Community Food Advocates, and Spencer Taylor, school nutrition director for Metro Nashville Public Schools. Together, they shed new perspective on school nutrition since the passing of the Health Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, the first significant federal legislation in 15 years to set new guidelines for school food.
NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis is made possible through the generous support of the Healthways Foundation, The Nashville Health Care Council, The HCA Foundation, and the Metro Public Health Department, with additional support provided by the Orrin H. Ingram Fund and Baptist Healing Trust. “Obesity” was made possible with additional support provided by the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.