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YMCA in Winston-Salem offering program addressing childhood obesity

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The William G. White Jr. YMCA in Winston-Salem is offering a first-of-its-kind program addressing childhood obesity.

The Healthy Weight and Your Child program pairs parents and children together to create a healthier lifestyle.

For four months, children 7 to 13 years old who carry excess weight get an instructor to support their journey toward a healthier lifestyle.

The curriculum is divided into 26 sessions covering different topics.

“We've talked about navigating nutrition tips and how to read food labels and what we can do at the grocery store,” instructor Katie Stafford said.

An adult must attend all sessions with the child.

“With youth these ages, which is 7 to 13, they're not grocery shopping, they're not preparing meals, while we hope they'll help and they learn, we know the adults need to be learning the same messages about how to develop healthy lifestyles for the family not just for one child,” said Karen Bartoletti, VP of Community Integrated Health for YMCA of Northwest NC.

The sessions include both classroom instruction and physical activity.

“For 30 minutes, it's just the kids, then the parents come in and do stuff with that, so it’s kind of fun to do a little bit with my dad,” participant Sullivan Bray said.

Sullivan’s dad says the program is making them more mindful of their habits.

“We’re all running at such a fast pace, I just wanted to slow down and try to find out how we can be healthier,” Lyndon Bray said.

The William G. White Jr. Family YMCA is the only Northwest North Carolina location currently offering this program.

The next Healthy Weight and Your Child program begins in January.

You can visit the program page for more information.

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