Childhood obesity focus of Portage Health Foundation Ball

HANCOCK – The health issues caused by obesity run deep, and with 17 percent of the nation’s children and adolescents (ages 2-19) obese it’s obviously an issue that needs addressing.

The Center for Disease Control said the rate of childhood obesity tripled from 1980 to 2009. Another recent study showed nine of Michigan’s U.P. counties have an obesity rate higher than 30 percent. To help offset this problem in our area, the Portage Health Foundation is focusing on childhood obesity during the upcoming year.

“In 2009, Michigan was home to the 10th highest percentage of obesity in the United States,” said Kevin Store, executive director of the Portage Health Foundation. “This is becoming an epidemic, but it’s something that we can work on together.”

All proceeds from this year’s Portage Health Foundation Annual Spring Ball & Auction will go back to the community with a focus on curbing the trend of childhood obesity in our area.

“If we can lower our percentage locally, it could pay huge dividends down the road as our children will live longer and healthier lives,” said Store.

The Portage Health Foundation, a charitable, nonprofit organization, was established in 1990 to support Portage Health’s mission and enhance quality healthcare for all who are served by Portage Health.

The foundation ball and acution is the foundation’s largest fundraising event, and is scheduled for May 19. Registration is currently open, call (906) 483-1507 or visit for more information.