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How to help kids lose weight and live a healthier life | Health Smart

The YMCA's Healthy Weight and Your Child Program proves to be successful, even during COVID-19.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects more than 14 million children in the U.S. Luckily, there are programs out there to help. In this week’s Health Smart, we introduce you to one of them at the YMCA and a family who found success there. 

"I learned exercise…. and to drink 8 glasses of water a day,” Jayesh Bhandari. Those are just two of the things the eight-year-old has learned from the Harrisburg area YMCA's Healthy Weight and Your Child Program.

His dad, Santosh, said they found out about the program after it was recommended by his pediatrician, who became concerned with Jayesh's rising weight.

Forced to go online because of COVID-19, the weekly program teaches children how to live a healthier, active lifestyle in a safe and fun environment. 

Santosh says they’ve actually both benefited from the program and have learned about healthy foods, portion control, and even how to read food labels.  

Jayesh is just one success story, losing between 10 and 15 pounds and he’s not even done with the program!

Who is eligible for the Healthy Weight and Your Child program at the YMCA? 

  • Children between the ages of 7 and 13 
  • BMI in the 95th percentile or higher. 
  • They must be referred and cleared to participate in the program by a healthcare provider.
  • They also must have an adult caregiver who is able to attend each session with the participating child.

What is included?

  •   20 bi-weekly sessions, 5 weekly sessions
  •   2-hour sessions (classroom setting and physical activity)
  •   Group-based (10 or more children and their adult)

If you are interested in learning more about the Healthy Weight and Your Child Program at the Harrisburg Area YMCA click here. You can also register today with Eric Rothermel at 717-232-3107

For more information on the Harrisburg Area YMCA's other programs, click here.

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