Let’s Get Healthy Together! Fighting Childhood Obesity at the Y

The figures are staggering. 
41% of children in Forsyth County are overweight or obese. This compares to 30% in North Carolina and 17% nationally.
27% of children in North Carolina are not getting the recommended levels of physical activity.
35% eat a fast food meal two or more times a day, and only 15% eat recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables.

Want to help your family get healthier? Here are some great ways to get started:

Healthy, Fit and Strong is a free, 12-week physical activity and nutrition program to help families live healthier. Learn more about issues like: What is a true portion size? How do I make the healthiest choices for my family? Students participate in activities during recess at school. Families enjoy one-hour nutrition lessons each week in the evenings and one free family night each week at the YMCA. Click here to see participating schools and grade levels.

Youth Sports help kids find activities they love and build life-long healthy habits. Find your local Y to learn more about the sports offered.

Run a race as a family! Register now for the YMCA Mistletoe Run on December 1. This family friendly Fun Run, 5K and Half Marathon raises funds to stop childhood obesity in our community. Find more local races in our community here.

Build healthier habits! This 12-week childhood obesity intervention program at the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA helps kids age 10-15 achieve a healthy weight and learn more about healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle habits in a fun, supportive environment. Get in touch with Laura Blackwell at l.blackwell@ymcanwnc.org or 336 721 2100 for more information.


Recent News: YMCA Encourages kids to get active, live healthier

The Y Offers Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Tips During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (September 18, 2012) – September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina, a leader in youth development and healthy living, wants to help families understand the risks of childhood obesity and how to incorporate regular physical activity and healthy eating into their lives.

In North Carolina, the numbers are more alarming than the national average with more than one in four youth 12 to 18 years of age and more than one in five children five to 11 years who are obese. Obesity puts children at risk for chronic diseases often seen in adults, such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

“At the Y, we want families to understand the risks of childhood obesity and the lifetime benefits of eating right and getting physically active,” said Karen Bartoletti, Vice President of Wellness Initiatives for the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina and Executive Director of the Jerry Long Family YMCA. “Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to healthy living and the Y is a great place for families to get started.”

The Y offers a wide range of programs to help children get and stay active. Youth sports including soccer, basketball and much more help kids build lifelong healthy habits. The Y also structures active play during recess time and educates parents about nutrition in programs like Healthy, Fit & Strong. For the first time this year, the Y is leading running clubs in the afternoons at Wiley and East Forsyth Middle Schools. For the second year, the YMCA Mistletoe Run, which drew record-breaking attendance of more than 3,000 participants last year, will raise funds to prevent childhood obesity in our community.

This health crisis sheds light on the need to provide children and parents with resources and support, emphasizing that small steps can lead to sustained changes to reverse the childhood obesity trend. The following tips can help families live healthier:

1.    Eat Healthy: Make water the drink of choice (supplemented by 100 percent fruit juices and low-fat milk) and have fruits and vegetables available at every meal. Snack time should include foods that contain whole grains and lean protein instead of saturated and trans fats.

2.    Play Every Day/Go Outside: Kids and adults should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of physical activity.

3.    Get Together: At least once a day families should dine together, with kids involved in meal preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should spend one-on-one time each day with their kids.

4.    Reduce Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, cell phone and video game should be limited to two hours per day.

5.    Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule—10-12 hours per night for kids and seven to eight hours for adults.

To find ways your family will enjoy getting active at a Y near you, visit ymcanwnc.org or call 336 777 8055.

YMCA of Northwest North Carolina
The YMCA is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina engages more than 100,000 men, women and children annually – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the community’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  Anchored in communities across seven counties, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. Learn more at www.ymcanwnc.org.

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