Delaware – This fall, the YMCA of Delaware 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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 Delaware has a long history of advancing the health and well-being of children in Delaware. Helping children reach a healthy weight is important now more than ever,” said Tricia Jefferson, Director of Healthy Living and Strategic Partnerships for the YMCA of Delaware. “The Healthy Weight and Your Child program is focused on helping children experience improved health outcomes and higher self-esteem, and families will feel empowered to make and support healthier choices.”
The yearlong 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 8 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. Most 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 be accompanied by a parent or caregiver at every session.
The program will start at all branches, statewide, in September 2015. For more information on the days and times of the Healthy Weight and Your Child program, call 302-572-6922 for more information.