Healthy Weight and Your Child: Empowering Families to Live Healthier

Beginning in early September, the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina will offer a program to help combat a major health problem among our youth — childhood obesity. The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina is a community partner in addressing the needs and issues facing our community, such as the epidemic of obesity in our youth.

And childhood obesity, in many cases, continues into obesity in adulthood with negative impacts on health and quality of life. That is why here at the Y, we are dedicated to Healthy Living and Youth Development through our Healthy Weight and Your Child program, which is a 26-session, evidence-based program for children (ages 7-13) carrying excess weight.

Made up of groups of 10-15 children and a parent/guardian for each child, 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.

“Healthy Living and Youth Development are two essential components of what the YMCA provides for the community. Healthy Weight and Your Child embodies that, and we believe that we can help make a positive, long lasting impact for our youth through it,” says Karen Bartoletti, Vice President for Community integrated Health at the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina.

Healthy Weight and Your Child’s curriculum is adapted from the most widely disseminated and extensively evaluated child weight management program in the world. The family-based, weight-management program emphasizes three elements: healthy eating, regular physical activity and behavior change to elicit a positive life-long lifestyle transformation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 5 persons in the United States ages 6-19 years old is obese.

Dr. Barb Clifford, MD, a pediatrician at Novant Health Robinhood Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, says: “We know that childhood obesity is a real problem in our society. Healthy lifestyle changes, education and community support are key factors in not only addressing it now, but creating lifelong, sustainable approaches to healthy living.”

The program is delivered by two trained leaders: A Content Leader who delivers the education and nutrition portions of the program, and an Activity Leader who leads physical activity safely for children with obesity.

The program starts September 3 at the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA in Winston-Salem and will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm. A family YMCA membership is included.

Registration is now open. You must be registered before the first session in order to participate.

To qualify, the child must be between the ages 7-13 and carry excess weight with a body mass index of the 95th percentile or higher. The child must also receive clearance from a healthcare provider or school nurse in order to participate in this program. Their adult must be present for ALL sessions.

For more information about Healthy Weight and Your Child, please contact Tim Gribble at t.gribble@ymcanwnc.org, or 336 721 2100. More information can also be found at ymcanwnc.org/health.