TAMPA – The Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA, along with other YMCAs throughout the county, are offering programs to prevent childhood obesity throughout the month.
All Tampa Bay area YMCAs will open their doors for free every Friday through Sunday during the month of September. The theme of the program is “5-2-1-almost none.”
It means kids and adults should be eating five or more fruits and vegetables each day, spending two hours or less on television or video games, getting one hour of physical activity each day, and consuming almost no soft drinks, sports drinks or fruit drinks that are not 100 percent fruit juice.
“At the YMCA, we want families to understand the lifetime benefits of healthy eating and active living,” said Maureen Chiodini, vice president of wellness. “Those behavioral habits begin at home. If healthy habits are established at home, they will carry over to when children are out of their parents’ care and that will dramatically help reduce obesity.”
The YMCA is offering several programs to promote the wellness programs. On Sept. 13 to 15, anyone who refers a friend will receive a two-month free membership. From Sept. 20 to 22, anyone can enter to win a one-month free membership. From Sept. 27 to 29, there is no enrollment fee.
All kids are encouraged to eat more healthy foods such as 100 percent fruit juices and low-fat milk. Kids will be encouraged to play outside instead of sitting on the couch playing video games, and adults are going to be encouraged to participate with their children.
For more on the September programs at the Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA, call Maureen Chiodini at (813) 224-9622.