Programmes combat obesity

Something is happening worldwide. We read about it often in our own local paper as well as international newsprint: the recognition of the vital urgency to help the world’s child obesity problem.

While poverty and malnutrition plague many children of Third World countries, another type of poverty and malnutrition is sinister in its effect on the children of our more industrialized counties, including our beloved Cayman. Children may be overweight, but are malnourished. There is a poverty of spirit associated with that for many children.

It’s not like when I attended junior and high school. My schools could boast only of three moderately chubby (OK, overweight) souls. I was one of them. Today’s youth are becoming ‘gi-normus’ and ‘super-sized’. It’s become an epidemic according to medical experts.

While we do want to ease the pressures of living up to a ‘super skinny model image’ and the ‘twiggy era’, children must be encouraged to maintain normal weight. Why? The emotional trauma that an overweight child can suffer is clearly documented in literature, not to mention the associated high health risks.

Doctors are concerned. Parents are concerned. Schools are concerned. Yet, it’s often difficult for parents to monitor and help overweight kids. The dinner table can become a battleground.

Lifestyles with Donna offers help for overweight children, teens and parents with two programs: Lifestyles for Teens and Mothers and Daughters/Fathers and Sons.

Lifestyles for Teens, an after school program, meets every Tuesday at the Family Life Centre on Walkers Road.

This group, founded in January of 2007 was initially made up of all girls and has expanded to include boys. With the emphasis on development of personal self-esteem, weight management and healthy living principles, the group provides camaraderie and support with personal privacy ensured.

The newly launched Mothers and Daughters/Fathers and Sons program, (designed for overweight children ages six to 12 and parents) is beginning now on Saturday mornings. Parents and children benefit from guidance in healthy lifestyle practices.

Breaking a family heritage of obesity and creating a new legacy of health and wellness for your children is yours for the making.

Please contact [email protected] for more information.

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