Guest Post from Retired NFL Football Player, Langston Moore
From the time I was born 30+ years ago, I’ve always been attached with the “big” moniker. Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina there was nothing wrong with being another “big ole boy” - especially in the land of fabulous food, sugary teas, and of course never needing an excuse to celebrate with food. Looking back on early class pictures I was always the “big kid” in the back row, not just a tall guy but also “husky.” That was a term I first heard while clothes shopping with my mother. ”Oh, he won’t fit these clothes, he needs to be looking in the husky section.” Being a young child and ignorant to the rest of the world’s issues, I didn’t know this would be telling of how the world viewed “big kids.” Nowadays this “husky” word would be replaced by another phrase something more damning with heavier (no pun intended) connotations: “obese” or even scarier “childhood obesity.” With no states in the union with an obesity rate lower than 25% currently, it’s no wonder the childhood obesity rates follow their parents’ lead. In 1980 (a year before I was born) there was no state in the US with an adult obesity rate of 15% or more.
South Carolina & Childhood Obesity
With South Carolina continually being ranked among the top ten states in obesity and diabetes, it seems we’ve taken the approach of many other states of “lots of talk” and little action or follow through. Coupled with increasing lack of resources in rural, predominantly minority communities, lack of adequate access to whole local grown foods, and increased cultural apathy the problems continue to compound and grow. Our own state governor has declared a “war on fat” in South Carolina, addressed with all the traditional actions we’ve seen on other declared “war” movements, e.g. on drugs and homelessness. In short, in my opinion there are lots of grandiose ideas and good talking points, but very little follow through or action steps.
Langston Moore Eat2Win Football (FUN)damental Camp
I noticed that our NFL and Collegiate teammates (many from SC that we looked up to) are being impacted by same health issues nationwide, some even dying before the ages of 45. We reached out to our football/sports brethren to create the change we wanted to see. This has led to our tribe to create the Langston Moore Eat2Win football (FUN)damental camp and health combine.
Our camps take our states most prized resources (the people) and use their social capital to put on a day of football, food, fitness, and fun. The camp is hosted by local and/or regional NFL professionals with ties to SC to teach and reinforce messages that need to be absorbed by our communities. Our camp features elite fitness and nutritional coaching, organic meals and snack stations, as well as free medical screenings for parents of campers. The Eat2Win team took the approach of adding all the resources they could into one jam-packed day of service and smiles to the capital city of Columbia. Eat2Win has also taken the next step in this fight by adding the “financial awareness” piece, showing the impact these health and nutritional issues have on every person/family’s bank account. For example the camp features breakout sessions showing the impact of a “family” riddled with health issues and how poor nutritional habits and lack of health/financial resources can turn these issues into generational health problems. We try to tackle this obstacle by giving the community tangible examples of successful people from their state, reinforcing messages that may fall on deaf ears, and providing a platform of information and education resources.
Last year the Eat2Win team was able to provide a camp with high quality football instruction allowing children to safely play the great game of football, but also provided a host of other services. Here’s our impact in a quick snap shot:
- Over 600 hours of NFL coaching
- Over 500+ healthy, organic meals to families and campers
- 125 Healthy cooking tutorials
- Nearly 100 hours of nutritional coaching and education
Not only did Eat2Win provide health and wellness resources to the greater Columbia area, but it also allowed children a priceless opportunity to interact with professional athletes and community leaders from their hometowns.
The South Carolina state motto is “Dum Spiro Spero,” which translates to “While I Breathe I Hope.” Our goal is to continue to breathe life into our community by planting and cultivating the seeds for the beginning of a Health and Wellness revolution. We take nontraditional approaches to these issues and leverage our own popularity and success to serve our communities. Our hope is to take what seems to be an overwhelming obstacle and turn it into our proudest moments of triumph for up and coming generations. We are humbled by the outpouring of support and passion on these issues from all sects of the South Carolina family, but we know this is a game that is far from over.