The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Fitness And Nutrition (F.A.N.) Club was established in 2008 as part of the hospital’s pediatric obesity initiative to help 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students experience fun activities to keep them fit and healthy through physical activity and education. The after-school and summer F.A.N. Club includes activities such as strength training, games, flag football, stretching, cardio-aerobic activities and nutrition and there is no cost to club participants.
The first year analysis of the two F.A.N. Club sites at Livingston Elementary School and Lincoln Park Elementary School shows that on average the 44 participants maintained their Body Mass Index (BMI) and BMI percentile during the program. They increased their number of sit-ups by approximately 30 percent and their aerobic capacity by approximately 100 percent. Participants were able to better identify healthy food choices and they improved their overall knowledge about good nutrition (e.g. appropriate servings of each food group). They also reported improved physical functioning (e.g. easier to do sports, exercise, run) and more social support regarding activity (e.g. participating in more physical activities/having fun with friends while being physically active).
A collaboration has resulted in Mount Carmel College of Nursing securing grant funding and providing instructors to establish a third F.A.N. Club site at Avondale Elementary School beginning this school year. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is committed to expanding community collaborations and growing the F.A.N. Club in Columbus Public Schools.