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Child Weight Management Program Offered by Mount St. Mary's Hospital | Families

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Child Weight Management Program Offered by Mount St. Mary's Hospital
Families, Health
Child Weight Management Program Offered by Mount St. Mary's Hospital

The healthcare professionals at Mount St. Mary's Hospital are teaming with the Niagara County Health Department and The Mental Health Association in Niagara County, Inc. to offer a comprehensive Childhood Weight Management Program.

Organized in a program that will encompass eight sessions over a 16 week period, the initiative will begin in February.  An information session for parents will be held on Wednesday, January 26 from 6-7 p.m. in Room 249 of the main hospital building.  Registration is $35 per child.  For the program, a parent must accompany the child and be willing to work with the child to address the needs of the program.

“Childhood obesity is a health problem reaching epidemic proportions throughout the United States,” said program coordinator Honor Martin, Director of Education and Organizational Development at Mount St. Mary’s.  “Obesity in the young brings along with it, the stigma of being ‘different.’ Children who are obese are often challenged with poor self-esteem and the emotional trauma of taunting, bullying and other negative behaviors from other children.  In addition, these children are at risk for other health problems as they grow, which may affect them in later life.”

Ms. Martin emphasized that the key to the success of any weight management program for children is parental support and encouragement.  In many families, obesity is generational and therefore even more difficult to address.  As children grow into adolescence and adulthood, behaviors learned in childhood take their toll, developing into more serious illness or even chronic disease. 

The collaborative program will be limited to 25 children and their parents, and will feature a unique combination of portable and flexible elements designed with busy families in mind.  The program will teach children a simple, healthy eating plan, which they can easily internalize and use throughout their lives.  By engaging parents in the program sessions and homework assignments, addressing emotional problems frequently encountered by children in their peer groups, their participation in the selection of foods, exercise and other aspects of the curriculum can be encouraged and supported.  

Topics will include: Learning to Read Your Body Signs; The Stoplight Signals; The ABCs of Nutrition; Don’t Be a Couch Potato; Feeling Good About Who You Are; and Leading by Example.

For information and registration contact Mount St. Mary’s Department of Education at 298-2299.

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