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Elementary School Program Started To Reduce Childhood Obesity

Providence Health & Services is supporting the American Heart Association in starting a series of educational programs in five Medford elementary schools, with a goal of reducing childhood obesity.

Posted: Jan. 29, 2018 5:19 PM
Updated: Jan. 29, 2018 6:15 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Providence Health & Services is supporting the American Heart Association – Oregon & SW Washington Division in starting a series of educational programs in five Medford elementary schools.

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The sessions are designed to address the increasingly sedentary lifestyle among today’s young people. The Healthy For Good program began today in select local elementary schools with a health and wellness assembly.

Hoover Elementary, Ruch Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, and Roosevelt Elementary will all participate in a six-week program focused on nutrition and physical activity. The program will culminate in each school with a Healthy For Good Family Night.

About one-third of American kids and teens are overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels.

There are also psychological effects: Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression. And excess weight at young ages has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood.

To help reverse this trend, the American Heart Association, with support from Providence Health & Services, will provide children and families with the tools and resources needed to live a healthy lifestyle to help positively impact the health and wellness of southern Oregon.

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