The Y urges healthier habits for kids during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and the Waynesboro Family YMCA is reminding parents about the importance of incorporating regular physical activity and healthier eating habits into their children’s lives.

Childhood obesity rates have soared over the last few decades. Nationally, one in three children is obese. More alarming, 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. This health crisis sheds light on the need to provide children and their parents with the resources and the support they need, emphasizing that small steps can lead to big results to reverse the trend.

One key to fighting childhood obesity is prevention. Regular physical activity – 60 minutes a day for children – and nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains can lower children’s chances of becoming obese or overweight and developing chronic diseases. It’s important to note that 60 minutes of physical activity can be achieved through a number of activities throughout the entire day – it doesn’t have to be done all at once. As a leading nonprofit strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y believes that getting kids more active and allowing them to play is an important factor in improving their health.

The Waynesboro Family YMCA Childcare Department offers SPARK Physical Fitness Programs on all levels of care. We have partnered with the Family Resource and Referral Office to provide this service. This program helps children by providing songs, games and lots of fun activities. “At the Waynesboro Family YMCA, we know that many families struggle to find the time and resources to eat healthier and set aside time for physical activity every day,” said Rebecca Patton, Childcare Director, “Our goal is to have our children exercise without even knowing it and take these activities home to encourage their whole family to do the same.”

If you would like to learn more about the SPARK Physical Fitness Programs or sponsor upcoming Childcare programs, contact Nikki Brown at the Waynesboro Family YMCA at 540-943-9622. We are the leading nonprofit for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.


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