Thousands of families sign up for FitFamily

  • Published
  • By Maj. Belinda Petersen
  • Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
Within the first week of the launch of FitFamily, more than 2,000 families have signed up for the program at

FitFamily empowers families to take charge of their lifestyles and make healthier choices. The program offers innovative ideas, resources and activities for Air Force families to improve their family's healthy and fitness habits.

With nearly one third of all children in the U.S. overweight or obese, the Air Force is taking action by introducing small changes that can make big improvements in a family's overall wellness.

The White House released a presidential memorandum this week establishing a task force on childhood obesity. "I have set a goal to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight," said President Barack Obama in the memorandum.

"With the national spotlight on fitness and health care, it is relevant that fitness awareness is taught at an early age," said David Brittain, one of the program's administrators. "Youth can play a big role in FitFamily by choosing activities that keep the family involved and on the go."

The site encourages parents and children together to take ownership of their health. While the emphasis of FitFamily is on family fun, resources on the site include information on good nutrition, healthy recipes, sports and fitness, games, educational projects and fitness tips.

"The FitFamily Web site is intended to make it easy for families to get fit," said Eliza Nesmith, chief of Airman and Family Services at the Pentagon. "We wanted a place where the whole family could participate and have fun while introducing healthy habits into their lifestyle."

The site also includes an interactive program for tracking a family's fitness progress. Called My Goal Tracker, this tool allows the family to establish goals, share in activities and monitor their development.

My Goal Tracker introduces various activities, each assigned with a point value. As that activity is completed, the family records their points on the tracking form. There are 5 levels of point achievement, each with its own reward.

In addition to My Goal Tracker, participants can help other families by submitting healthy recipes, explaining how they've become a fit family through the Let's Chat feature, and submitting photos of their family getting fit.

The site is continuously updated with new information designed to help families build healthier habits together.

"I believe that with regular site visits to record family progress, learn new ideas and participate in monthly activities will have long-term health benefits, not only to the family, but to the entire Air Force community," Mr. Brittain said.

Last year, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz designated July 2009 to July 2010 as the Year of the Air Force Family, a year-long focus on Air Force programs highlighting the importance of, and commitment to, the entire Air Force family.

"Taking care of families is a solemn promise we make to each Airman and family member," said Secretary Donley during his remarks to the Air Force Sergeants Association last year.

Eligible families of active duty, Reserve, Guard, and DoD civilian members are encouraged to register online to participate and log points at