The Monty Betham ‘Steps for Life’ Foundation is a not-for-profit registered incorporated charity. It was established in 2010 to support our youth in the drive against obesity. Currently 1 in 9 New Zealand children are obese with 1 in 5 overweight. Obesity is the main modifiable driver of the type 2 diabetes epidemic and a significant factor for other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, ischaemic stroke and several common cancers. Obesity in childhood and adolescence is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in adulthood.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of obesity and numbers are still climbing. NZ also has one of the highest rates of youth suicide - in 2017 NZ had the highest rate of suicide in youth ages 15 - 19 years. There is also a significant increase in the number of youth that suffer from anxiety and depression. One in two NZ kids are also bullied and yet schools claim to have a zero tolerance for bullying. While many like to turn a blind eye the use of drugs and alcohol among our youth is also a grave concern. Then we have the alarming number of youth that are committing a number of different crimes... headlines all over NZ talk about our youth facing a challenge of one sort or another.
By listening to our youth we’ve realised that the depth of this epidemic encompasses a magnitude of other issues which they face.
We’ve heard our youth and now we’re taking ACTION with a focus on the general health and wellbeing of our youth on a deep insightful level which will not only fight the obesity epidemic but also provide them with the resources and tools they need so that they are able to cope with issues such as anxiety, depression, bullying, lack of self-worth, drugs, alcohol and suicide to name a few.
Our children are our future and it is our responsibility to ensure they reach their full potential and have a good start in life. The Monty Betham Steps for Life foundation are committed to empowering young New Zealander’s and their families one step at a time.