Crunch Out Obesity

Crunch Out Obesity is a program that teaches 4th grade students in Knox County Schools about making healthy food choices and getting physical activity every day.  Information about 5-2-1-0 is shared and reviewed throughout the six week fall program.  Changing diet and increasing physical activity are believed to be the two most important contributors causing the recent increase in childhood obesity across the country.  Kids aren't riding their bikes to get around, fewer are choosing to participate in organized sports, and many schools across the nation have reduced or eliminated gym class.   Local stats reveal approximately 30% of Knox County children are overweight or obese.  The longer children are overweight, the more likely they are to be overweight as an adult.  Learning and skill and practicing is the best way to change a behavior and that's what Crunch Out Obesity does for Knox County students! 

The six week program takes place during physical education class.  The students learn how to use an  exercise ball as a fitness tool and receive training on the various ball exercises.  Students receive their own exercise ball to keep and take home and are encouraged to share with their family.  Research shows that families have the biggest influence on their child's  health habits.  Not only do we want the kids to move more but we also want to get families involved and moving.    By having an exercise ball at home, we hope that the students and family will use it and create new healthy habits together!   A training guide - My Everyday Guide to Living Healthy -  offers different ball exercises and tips about healthy eating and portion sizes.  Journals are kept by the student to record their nutrition and physical activity and prizes can be earned by completing weekly journals and actively participating in gym class.  At the end of the program, students complete an essay - "How I Am Living Healthy!"  Winners are selected from each classroom and school and an overall Knox County Crunch Out Winner is announced at an awards celebration in January, for family, friends and teachers to attend.

Evaluation of the Crunch Out Obesity Program  was completed in May, 2016 by Kenyon College students to help United Way and Crunch Out Partners (Knox Community Hospital, YMCA of Mount Vernon, and the Knox County Health Department) strengthen the program in 2016.  Check out a short video about their involvement! 

Click on logo for 2016 Community Impact Report






Discover more information about healthy nutrition and physical activity at