Celebrating Healthy U
Our children are CATCHing healthier habits!
On Thursday, October 18, the South Mountain YMCA, a branch of the Metropolitan YMCAs of the Oranges, which is the largest Association of YMCAs in New Jersey, will be celebrating the start of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance's Healthy U initiative. Healthy U provides an evidence based program for the prevention of childhood obesity. This year we will integrate the program into our preschool curriculum, further our commitments in our afterschool programs, and in some school districts, pilot a school based program.
The Healthy U program uses the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (C.A.T.C.H.) curriculum to promote physical activity, healthy eating, and healthy family behaviors by providing a supportive learning environment. We will be one of 80 YMCA preschool sites, 368 afterschool child care sites, 10 elementary schools who will be partnering with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ in implementing this proven method.
Obesity in America is at epidemic levels. In New Jersey 1 in 3 school age children are either overweight or obese. We have the highest incidence of obesity in low-income children aged two to five years in the nation. These children risk developing serious health problems in adulthood, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer. Already we are seeing diabetes being diagnosed at younger ages. We at the South Mountain YMCA and the Horizon Foundation know we can make a positive impact on the youth and their families to help reverse this crisis.
This state-wide kick-off will publically announce the new initiative and provide education and awareness about the program.