Jonesboro, Ark. – Although obesity rates in Arkansas have improved, the state still ranks sixth for adult obesity rates in the nation, at 34.5% percent, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2015, a report released mid-2016 from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). NEA Baptist continues to take a proactive approach to combating this epidemic.
Rates for Childhood Obesity do continue to rise, with 20% of 10- to 17- year olds being obese (ranking 6th in the nation) and 18% of high school students being obese (ranking 4th in the nation). The State of Obesity report also stated that prevention among children is essential in lowering adult obesity rates.
Center for Healthy Children offers a free 12 week session that focuses on helping children and their families learn to live a fit way of life through nutrition and physical activity. The program is free of charge for children ages 8-12 with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or greater and requires parental involvement. Applications are now being accepted for the spring 2017 session, which begins February 6.
A newer addition to the foundation – Center for Healthy Teens will also begin the spring session on February 7. Center for Healthy Teens focuses on teens ages 13-17 with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or greater and offers the same program benefits as Center for Healthy Children, with session information and activities that are adapted and suited to the older age group.
The 12 week sessions include discussion on nutrition, self-esteem and other various subjects for the entire family. Life skills on how to choose foods wisely through label reading, portion control and eating on the go will be taught in the nutrition classes. Children and teens will learn how to have fun while they exercise through activities such as team sports, strength training and other group events. Parents will learn tips and tricks for cooking light, eating out and feeding a picky eater. They will also hear from speakers within the community about keeping their children healthy.
“I encourage starting nutrition and exercise at an early age to gain control of health problems such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure”, says wellness program manager Erica Huffstetler. “It’s very important that parents are involved in every aspect of their child’s health and to make an impact on them to live a healthy lifestyle.”
In addition to the structured program, Center for Healthy Children has a fitness room that the children are able to explore during free play. The room includes a rock-climbing wall, stationary bicycles, Wii games and other equipment created specifically for children. The children also have use of the indoor heated swimming pool and indoor track at the NEA Baptist Clinic Wellness Center at 2617 Phillips Drive in Jonesboro.
For more information about NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation Center for Healthy Children or to download an application, log on to NEABaptistFoundation.org or contact Erica Huffstetler at 870-936-7960.
Center for Healthy Children is one of five programs offered free to the public through the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation. The program’s purpose is to teach, motivate and guide overweight children and their families to build a solid foundation of proper nutrition and regular exercise for a healthy lifestyle.
Press Release – NEA Baptist