According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. They are also more at risk for diabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and other social and psychological problems.
This Sunday here in Huntington Beach, you can help combat the problem of childhood obesity.
At 8 a.m., a special event will take place across from the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa: the Fana Global Foundation's 1st Annual 5K Walk at the Beach.
Dr. Fred Nowroozi, the president of the Fana Global Foundation, said the walk is being held to help combat child obesity by raising awareness about threats to childhood nutrition worldwide. Working with Oak View School as its pilot project, Fana wants to "empower children and their families to build healthy sustainable lifestyles for themselves and to become future leaders for healthy living in their local and global communities." That's why proceeds from the event will support wellness programs for Oak View School and various other projects that address childhood hunger and obesity.
Nowroozi, who first came to California as a young man in 1973 from Iran (and to Huntington Beach in 1980), said, "We founded Fana Global to help humanitarian visions succeed—projects that are good simply because they are good. We honor and strive for basic goodness, no exceptions. What has happened to me in this country is miraculous. I am extremely fortunate, and that also drives a lot of the energy in Fana—the sense of giving back to the community."
Nowroozi added that this is the just the first of several key projects his organization, which is nonprofit and promotes no political or religious views, wants to create.
"We'll have the 5K walk here each year, of course, but we're also creating an art exhibit that will bring in many kinds of artists, from poets to painters to filmmakers, to address the importance of art and prejudice. And then we are also at work creating a Fana charter school. Our mission is simple. We believe that we are all related as human beings, first and foremost. No matter where we come from, no matter what we do, we are people first, that is what joins us. And so all of our projects will focus on the beauty and simplicity of helping those in need and creating positive awareness around certain issues. We think we can help break down barriers."
The art project he mentioned is "Recognition and Affirmation of Oneness & Celebration of Diversity," a three-day international conference followed by an art exhibition. Artists around the world, whose artworks reflect this objective, will be recognized through global exhibitions and conferences. A Global Committee in the areas of paintings, sculpture, film, music and essays will evaluate the submitted artworks, and you can submit an image or video of your artwork electronically at http://www.fanaglobal.org.
Contributing to visionary humanitarian efforts and "awakening the recognition of Oneness in global community," as he states it, is the mission of Fana, and the timing for this first event could not be better. After all, September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. According to that organization's website, "More than 23 million children and teenagers in the U.S. are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic. Childhood obesity puts nearly one third of America's children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke—conditions usually associated with adulthood."
For that reason, I encourage you all to get involved in the event this Sunday to help support the efforts of Fana Global Foundation, which is beautifully focused on doing good in this community.
CHRIS EPTING is the author of 18 books, including the new "Hello, It's Me: Dispatches from a Pop Culture Junkie." You can write him at email@example.com.
If You Go
What: 1st Annual 5K Walk at the Beach
Where: On the beach across from the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach
When: 8 a.m. Sunday
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 on-site; children 12 and under free
Information: (949) 209-7783 or http://www.fanaglobal.org