YMCA Kids Clubhouse fosters healthy choices
November 21, 2012
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
The South Wood County YMCA Kids Clubhouse program is addressing the issues of childhood obesity in children ages 5 to 12 through the implementation of the Y5210 initiative.
This concept offers a teachable message to children and families to help combat childhood obesity. Starting in October, the Kids Clubhouse Before and After School Care made this program available at all seven sites: Grant, Grove, Howe, Humke, Mead, Washington and Woodside schools.
The Y5210 is an awareness program branded at the YMCA, which is rapidly growing in popularity and success throughout YMCAs in the United States. The numerals 5-2-1-0 reflect the daily guidelines recommended by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics to help reduce the obesity epidemic in youths.
The program encourages youths to make healthy choices and teaches them that every day they should consume at least five servings of fruits or vegetables, have two or less hours of screen time, one hour of exercise and 0 sugar-sweetened drinks. The Y5210 program uses student information sheets, activities and challenges to teach kids about the importance of exercising and eating right. Participating students will understand how to implement these healthy choices into their daily lives.
Obesity rates have more than doubled during the past 20 years, and the obesity rate in adolescents has tripled according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate among children continues to increase due to lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits.
According to a report from the Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 13.1 percent of Wisconsin kids ages 10 to 17 are considered obese, and the number rises significantly when you add in those who are considered overweight. Obesity increases the risk for serious health conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol — all once considered exclusively adult diseases.
At the Y, we know wellness is an overall feeling of health and wholeness. The energy to live our fullest life and the desire to continually learn new things and improve our skills while creating a sense of belonging.
“We need to make the healthy choice the easy choice by ensuring that our communities have opportunities for children, adults and families to engage in healthy behaviors in all of the places where they live, work, learn and play. Not only does the Y help kids stay active and educate them about healthy choices, but we are also committed to working with community leaders to influence policy and systems changes to increase physical activity and improve access to healthy foods,” said Raquel Nowak, membership and communications director.
The YMCA is committed to wellness through exercise and healthy eating in our community. At the SWC YMCA, we understand the value of partnering with those in our community who share our goals. With the implementation of Y5210 comprehensive program into Kids Clubhouse programs the YMCA is working toward a brighter future for our most precious resources — our children — while making South Wood County a healthier place to live.
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