HONOLULU — More than 500 students at Kapunahala Elementary School in Kaneohe were encouraged to develop healthy habits at an event celebrating the completed installation of the school’s new water bottle filling station. The water station is part of a program from the Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (know as HICORE) and the Hawaii Department of Education. HICORE is teaching students about the benefits of healthy hydration and installing water bottle stations throughout Hawaii’s schools, encouraging students to make healthy beverage decision and avoid sugary drinks through a grant from Kaiser Permanente.
The program, which began in 2015, allows schools to receive water bottle filling stations after they implement healthy policies, such as reducing or eliminating beverage offerings that are high in sugar. The program is part of the Hawaii 5210 Initiative that encourages children to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, limit their screen time to two hours, get at least one hour of physical activity and drink zero sugary beverages each day.
The simple choice to drink water rather than sweetened drinks each day can make a big difference in a person’s long-term health and quality of life. When keiki learn healthy habits, it can help them avoid potentially deadly conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Making water a convenient alternative to juice and soda is vital.
To date, the Hawaii 5210 Initiative has 72 participating schools and has installed 24 water bottle filling stations at six Oahu complexes and one Maui complex. The program has reached over 13,000 school children. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has donated more than $272,000 to the project since its inception in 2015.
HICORE provides collaborative and multi-disciplinary leadership in research and education on childhood obesity, physical activity and nutrition in Hawaii. The Initiative is based at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and is the collaborative effort of academic and community partners in Hawaii. www.hicore.org
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in Hawaii in 1958, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, community health, and providing patient-centered total health for the people and communities of Hawaii. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.