YMCA Begins New Program To Combat Childhood Obesity

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga will begin offering Healthy Weight and Your Child, a pilot program designed to empower children between the ages of 7-13, with the support from their families, to reach a healthy weight and live a healthier lifestyle.  It will begin on March 20. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States - triple the rate from just one generation ago. Today, one in six children are obese and one in three are overweight, which poses greater risks for a number of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and mental health issues. 

“The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga has a long history of advancing the health and wellbeing of children in Chattanooga, North Georga and surrounding areas, and helping children reach a healthy weight is important now more than ever,” said Bill Rush, district executive director for the J.A. Henry Community YMCA. “Healthy Weight and Your Child will help children experience improved health outcomes and higher self-esteem, and families will feel empowered to make and support healthier choices.” 

The 25-session program engages the whole family, so together they can understand how the home environment and other factors influence the choices that lead to a healthy weight. Additionally, the program combines three elements of healthy eating, regular physical activity and behavior change. 

Made up of groups of eight to 15 children and their parents/caregivers, the program creates a safe, fun, and active environment for children and their families to explore and adopt proven methods to living a healthier lifestyle, said officials. Sessions are 2 hours in length, with the first hour delivered in a classroom setting and the second hour focusing on physical activity. 

Children eligible for the program must be between the ages of 7 and 13, have a body mass index greater than or equal to the 95th percentile, receive approval from their doctor or a health care provider, and accompanied by a parent or caregiver at every session. 

Upcoming Program Dates:

March 13 at 5:30 p.m. – Eligible families must attend a Family Information Session at the J.A. Henry Community YMCA location at Orange Grove, 615 Derby St. 

March 20 at 5:30 p.m. – Classes begin (Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.) at J.A. Henry Community YMCA location at Orange Grove, 615 Derby St.

The YMCA of Metropolican Chattanooga is one of 10 Ys in the U.S. to run this pilot program.

For more information contact Laura Horne at 805-3361 or at lhorne@ymcachattanooga.org.

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