July 26, 2005
CONTACT: Suzanna Cisneros Martinez,

LUBBOCK – The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Healthy Lubbock will host Fit 4 Fun Kids Triathlon beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday (August 13) at the Texas Tech University Aquatic Center.

Healthy Lubbock is a community-wide collaborative effort to address the developing health crisis of obesity. Obesity is rapidly becoming one of the most serious health threats in Lubbock and the region. This initiative responds to national calls for strategies to improve fitness and nutrition, especially of children.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 people die each year due to obesity-related causes. Since 1980 rates of obesity among children have more than doubled. The most recent government statistics show that of all the children born in the United States in 2000, one in three will have diabetes.

Patti Patterson, M.D., vice president for the Office of Rural and Community Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said increasing awareness of living a healthier lifestyle and getting better nutrition is paramount to turning this public health crisis around.

“Getting children outside and active on a daily basis can reduce a child’s risk of becoming obese and developing life-shortening conditions,” Patterson said. “We hope to get children started early thinking about staying fit and healthy. It can be fun at all ages.”

Children ages 7 to 14 will participate in a triathlon will include a 100 yard swim, 2 mile bike ride and 1 mile run. Others ages 11 to 14 will participate in a 200 yard swim, 4 mile bike ride and 2 mile run. Cost for the event is $15 per child with family discounts for multiple entries from the same family.

For more information about Fit 4 Fun Kids Triathlon, contact Liz Inskip-Paulk, community programs coordinator for the Office of Rural and Community Health, (806) 743-1338.