Healthy U Program Aims to Reduce Childhood Obesity

NJ Spotlight News | February 28, 2012 | Health Care
The program, held after school at YMCAs throughout the state, promotes physical activity, healthy eating and family involvement.

Childhood obesity in New Jersey has become a major concern. A Rutgers University study found that nearly one in three children in the state between the ages of 10 and 17 are overweight or obese and that number is even higher in urban areas. YMCAs throughout the state implemented a program called Healthy U in 2008 with the help of a $1 million grant from the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey to help combat the problem. The goal of the program is to reduce childhood obesity by 10 percent in four years by promoting physical activity, good nutrition and family involvement.

Those involved with the afterschool program say Healthy U is a behavior change initiative that can help the children as well as their entire family since kids will bring what they learn home to their parents.

NJToday Senior Correspondent Desiree Taylor visited the YMCA in Summit where she saw Healthy U in action with kids participating in fun physical activities and eating healthy food.