A new program was launched to help kids combat a growing problem in the U.S., childhood obesity. From the steps of City Hall Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and staff from the Community Health Network announced the start of the citywide Healthy Kids Summer Wellness Tour on July 14th.
Scheduled to tour the five boroughs of New York with free coloring books in hand, advocates will help with the citywide education program and will be raffling off toys and activity invitations that promote children’s health. The program will be offering quick medical screenings to assess a child’s body mass index (BMI) and will be informing parents of nutritional information and offering exercise advice to help their kids stay healthy.
“Healthy habits start early,” Gotbaum said. “Parents need to help kids make healthy choices, like eating right, exercising and getting regular checkups. If we can help our youth understand the importance of adopting healthy habits at an early age, then we can set them up for good health later on in life.”
According to a survey conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, it was found that 43 percent of all elementary school students in New York City suffer from obesity. It was also found that one in every five kindergartners and one in every four first graders are obese.
Catherine M. Abate, president and CEO of Community Healthcare Network discussed the significance of the program. “Community Healthcare Network is delighted to work together with NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum in providing health services to children and their families throughout New York City. By helping families gain access to health care and health education, we are not only improving the health of the community, we are creating a generation of healthy children,” Abate said.