The UnitedHealthcare Ironkids Galveston Fun Run raced around the grounds of Moody Gardens Saturday. UnitedHealthcare mascot “Dr. Health E Hound”, Mayor Lewis Rosen, and Don Langer, president of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas, kicked-off the 1-mile course.
It concluded through the finish line chute with local youth, including kids from the Galveston Boys & Girls Club, L.A Morgan School of Science, and Clearcreek Intermediate School.
UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring 10 Ironkids events – nine running races and a triathlon – in seven states. The first event was in Galveston where young people, ages 3 to 15, participated in a one-mile race to raise awareness about obesity and living healthy.
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The company provided complimentary tickets to the race and weekend-long Ironman activities to local youth from under-served areas, enabling kids who often face barriers to good health, to compete in the running event.
Children from low-income and low-education households are three-times more likely to suffer from obesity, which is a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and many cancers, according to America’s Health Rankings, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis.
Texas ranks 38th in the country in childhood obesity, and more than 15% of Texas youth are estimated to be obese.
Photo courtesy: UnitedHealthcare / Mark Hiebert