When Bowie resident Jodi Evans isn’t swimming with her friends or practicing Taekwondo, she’s taking on the childhood obesity epidemic in America.
Evans, 9, was selected along with 20 other youths from across the country to join Youth Advisory Board for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The board advocates for healthy behavior changes, including eating well and leading an active lifestyle, through peer education and public service projects.
“It is important for youth to have a voice in the fight against childhood obesity because youth influence each other,” Evans said in a statement.
For her part, Evans, a fourth grader at Robert Goddard French Immersion, hopes to use her passion for Taekowndo to help kids battle obesity. She practices Taekwondo six times a week and this year she received a gold medal in sparring and a bronze medal in poomsae in the Taekwondo 2012 Junior Olympics.
She said the sport has taught her discipline, balance and strength, skills she hopes to pass along to kids to help them combat obesity.
In addition to her commitment to athletics, Evans knows that eating well is also key to fighting obesity.
“Some kids don’t like all fruits and vegetables, and I don’t like them either,” said Evans, who said this does not keep her from eating healthy.
“I mix this things I do like with the things I don’t,” she said.
The Youth Advisory Board is comprised of kids ages 8 to 17. Members serve for one year and are selected based on their passion for healthy living, their desire to help others, and other factors.
“We believe that listening to youth perspective and empowering them to make a difference is critical in helping combat this public health crisis,” Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, said in a statement. “The alliance is committed to supporting the amazing work of our Youth Advisory Board and showcasing the powerful impact youth can have to inspire healthy living in their schools and communities.”