Prarthana Gurung joined the PreventObesity.net team a few weeks ago as our new digital campaign coordinator. She will be assisting PreventObesity.net Leaders and Supporters with any questions they might have, approving new Leaders and coordinating advocacy campaigns.
What inspired you to start working on childhood obesity?
Even from as early on as high school, I was always actively involved in community building activities, whether it was through my school or in my neighborhood. Through college and working at my first job at a grassroots community center in New York City, I continued keeping social change and movement building deeply integrated in my career as well as my personal life. By being a new member of Netcentric Campaigns and PreventObesity.net, I’m incredibly excited to start work on a new issue for me, helping reverse childhood obesity nationally.
How are you helping to reverse childhood obesity?
I’m looking forward to being a part of the PreventObesity.net team, which has created, and is growing, a network of fierce health and community leaders all over the country doing amazing work.
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?
Since I’m only about two weeks into working at PreventObesity.net, I’m taking the liberty of changing this question to, “What’s my biggest GOAL so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?” I would say that through my capacity as a digital campaign coordinator, I’m really excited to explore new ways of getting youth within the online network involved in tackling childhood obesity from fresh angles. I’ll be working a lot engaging and facilitating the Leader network as well, and I’m hoping to help cultivate youth leadership, and guide discussion on local community action to reinforce this national movement.
Who is your role model in your work?
Undoubtedly, my mother. She has a degree in early childhood education, and as mother at home, and a preschool teacher at work, she really practiced what she preached by teaching my brother and me from a very early age about healthy eating. Maybe I did resent all the healthy snacks I got in my lunchbox when I was younger, when all I wanted was Oreos like every other kid, but boy, am I glad she started my brother and me out young. Eating fruits and vegetables just became a regular part of our lives and to this day, I am still grateful for her instilling such healthy practices and habits in us.
What game or sport did you play growing up?
I played soccer and basketball as a kid and later on through high school, but the one thing I enjoyed the most, even more than organized league sports, was just playing with the neighborhood kids on our block during the long summer days. The games we played – four square, capture the flag, knock-out, freeze-tag, red light/green light, sardines – those were the games and activities that were most memorable for me growing up.
Each week, our own Zach Brooks speaks with a Leader to get a quick look at why he or she loves working to create healthy environments for kids. Want to take part? Visit Zach’s profile and contact him.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.