In The News

Keeping Kids Healthy; Mind, Body & Soul

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You’ve probably heard of Triple Play...
It’s one of the Club’s bigger programs. And you might know that it has something to do with health. But do you really know what Triple Play is all about?

Take a few minutes, because we’re excited to tell you!

Launched in 2005, Triple Play is one of our most important programs because it addresses a critical issue that our members face everyday - their health. With rising levels of obesity and illness in America, it is becoming more and more critical to instill healthy habits in our kids.

Triple Play strives to improve the overall health of Club members by demonstrating how eating right, keeping fit and forming positive relationships add up to a healthy lifestyle.

How does it work? Triple Play addresses three areas of health:

MIND improves members’ knowledge of healthy habits by incorporating healthy living and active learning in every part of the Club experience, emphasizing the central themes of good nutrition, regular health care and overall well-being.
BODY increases the number of hours per day kids participate in physical activities by providing sports and fitness activities, as well as daily fitness challenges.
SOUL teaches members how to develop and sustain positive relationships with others, acquire a healthy self-concept and a strong belief in their own self-worth, and cope well with positive and adverse situations.
What is even more exciting is that Triple Play really works! A study commissioned in 2009, The Impact of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Triple Play Program on Healthy Eating, Exercise Patterns, and Developmental Outcomes, discovered that “Triple Play has a significant impact across a wide range of outcomes for youth, as well as on the Clubs’ culture and structure.”

And you might be surprised to learn this, but Triple Play has an especially big impact on girls. Girls are often less active than their male counterparts at all ages, and participate less in physical education (according to a 2002 study, Age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity in youth (Trost et al.)).

The difference is substantial, with the European Youth Heart Study discovering that 9- and 15-year-old boys spend 20% and 36% more time than girls in daily moderate physical activity.

This is a huge issue for girls, because not only can inactivity lead to obesity and ill health, but girls who engage in physical activity and sports regularly report higher self-confidence, better self-control, and an overall happier existence than their less active peers.

Happily, the 2009 study found that girls who participate in Triple Play engage in nearly two hours of extra physical activity a week!

Triple Play kids - male and female both - benefit from the program. What are some of the other exciting impacts that Triple Play has had? How about:

Knowledge = Power! After engaging in Triple Play, Club member knowledge about portion size increased from 34 percent to 45 percent, an 11 percent point gain.
Making Smart Food Choices. Youth in the Triple Play program ate significantly more healthy foods in a day than those not in the program - 7 healthy foods vs. 5.7.
Sustainable Living. About half (53 percent) of Triple Play healthy eaters maintained their level of healthy eating compared to only 18 percent of control group healthy eaters.
Starting the Day Off Right. Approximately 52 percent of the Triple Play infrequent breakfast eaters ate breakfast more often by the end of the study compared to 38 percent of control group infrequent eaters.
Triple Play Means More Activity. Triple Play youth engaged in an average of 10 more minutes a day of physical exercise than the control group, which translates to nearly an hour (49 minutes) more per week
Getting Off - and Staying Off - the Couch. Approximately 44 percent of those Triple Play youth who reported being “relatively inactive” at the beginning of the study (30 minutes or less four or more days a week) increased their physical activity levels by the end of the study.
Parents can access tips from Triple Play in the free guide, Triple Play Parents Game Plan, available in English and Spanish at http://www.bgca.org/. Or stop by any of our Club locations here in the Springs to get in on the action!

Thank you for reading,

James Sullivan III, President & CEO