- 04-02-06, 12:52 AM #1
Ohio Obesity Programs
Jump, dance, just get moving! YMCAs target childhood obesity
BY SHANNON RUSSELL | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Studies say American youths are more obese than ever, and YMCAs of Greater Cincinnati want to do something about it.
For the first time, 11 area branches will celebrate a national YMCA event, Healthy Kids Day, at their respective locations on the same day. Starting next Saturday morning, children of all ages from Blue Ash to Burlington are invited to participate in free activities to curb inactivity and promote healthy habits.
"This year is especially important because of all the information coming out in the last year about childhood obesity. The Tri-State is in the top 10 in the nation (for childhood obesity)," said Trisha Rayner, director of program development. "We want to bring more attention to how families can do this together and make healthy decisions."
For Campbell County YMCA, that means partnering with Newport on the Levee during its Kids Fun Fest. Coordinator Alesha Chinn anticipates between 100 and 200 participants for the Y's event alone, up from 50 participants last year when the event was held in Fort Thomas.
Campbell County Y has activities such as line dancing and a walk across the Purple People Bridge planned. Double Dutch jump rope teams from Melrose YMCA in Cincinnati will perform, as will a dance team from Kenton County YMCA.
Chinn said the afternoon will include nutrition talks and yoga.
"We want to get (kids) out, get them active and give them some knowledge about healthy eating habits," she said.
The R.C. Durr YMCA in Burlington is holding its first Healthy Kids Day beginning at 9 a.m. April 8.
Membership director Erin McNary said one-hour classes in yoga, kickboxing, step-aerobics and cardio are just the beginning. Boating safety, bicycle helmet safety, first aid, scoliosis checks and American Heart Association informational sessions are included.
McNary said the state of childhood fitness hit home recently when several of the Y's fitness instructors visited a local school. Five minutes in, "kids were tired," she said.
"I think there is a great need for this," McNary said. "Especially with the rate of childhood obesity right now."
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