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Helping Weight Challenged Kids


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May 29, 2007, 12:47 PM

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Helping Weight Challenged Kids Can't Post

By Dina Lieberman Founder MobilizeYouth Day Camp

With the right conditions, fun challenges and passionate coaches, kids are capable of anything.

Each scorching day, kids and teens hiked in the ravines, played field sports, boxed, worked out in aquafit sessions, strengthened more muscles in the weight room and, finally, hung around for easy talks.

They also chopped, diced and mixed healthy salads and learned about balanced, healthy lunches during the Make Your Own Lunch sessions.

Not quite a typical summer camp but one that responds to the special circumstances and needs of youngsters who face weight challenges.

Last summer, MobilizeYouth coaches saw kids and teens, ages eight to 15, once inspired (and not given any option), rise to the challenge when the expectation existed. And with the resulting rise in self-esteem, camaraderie set in. By the end of the second week, old habits - sneaking of food, non-stop snacking, whining and fatigue - gave way to new habits, firmer resolve and happier, healthier kids.

Many kids with weight concerns have little opportunity to be really active. They don't take gym or join teams - and who enjoys being the last one picked? Often, it's lack of self-esteem that's keeping them back, but continued inactivity can result in accumulated weight. It's also difficult to change eating habits given often-poor cafeteria food, prepared foods and way too much snacking.

How did our campers keep going all day? "Or course, they can do it," said head coach Sarah Lipton, "But now they also want to do it. No one asks them to - they choose to".

Think of all the kids sitting around with so much potential, kids who are protected, babied, even rewarded junk food. With the right conditions, fun challenges and passionate coaches, kids are capable of anything. We all have to take the responsibility in promoting healthy lifestyles and eradicating childhood obesity.

Visit: MobilizeYouth

Dina Lieberman has participated in many creative pursuits from Director of Development at Opera Atelier - Toronto, Ontario - and with Diabetes and Transplant Campaigns. A filmmaker, she produced and directed Canada's first breast cancer documentary at the National Film Board. Dina's indepth experience in health care, organizational development, and fundraising provide the impetus and background for her new venture - MobilizeYouth.

(This post was edited by stephenwinbaum on Jun 12, 2007, 8:16 AM)


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