According to the 2010 Arkansas Assessment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity report, the obesity rate in Craighead County has tripled since 1980. A 2010 statewide study showed more than 38 percent of Arkansas students are at risk for potential obesity problems. NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation has taken a proactive approach to this issue.
The Center for Healthy Children offers a 16-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 for children ages 8-12 with a Body Mass Index of 25 or greater and requires parental involvement. The spring program begins Jan. 17.
Sessions include discussions 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 will learn how to have fun while they exercise through new activities such as martial arts, dance and team sports. Parents will learn tips and tricks for cooking light with food demonstrations and will also hear from various speakers within the community about keeping their children healthy.
In addition to the structured program, the Center for Healthy Children has a fitness room that the children are able to explore during free play. The specially designed fitness room includes a rock-climbing wall, hydraulic resistance machines, Dance-Dance Revolution Groove Pads, Wii games and stationary bicycles.
The children also have use of the indoor swimming pool and indoor track at the NEA Baptist Clinic Wellness Center located inside NEA Baptist Clinic Wellness Center at 2617 Phillips Drive.
For more information about NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation Center for Healthy Children or to download an application, log on to www.neabaptistfoundation.org or contact Jennifer Martinez at 870-336-1760.
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.