Thursday, November 29, 2007
Prescription for fitness
Along with Children's Hospital Boston and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, she set up a program where kids (mostly from the inner city) are sent to the gym with a doctor's prescription. They're usually children who are overweight or are on the verge of becoming obese. The youngsters visit the gym free of charge and they participate in all kinds of activities, such as dancing, rock climbing and weight training. The purpose is to get kids active and set them up for healthier lives as adults.
According to the CDC, approximately 17 percent of children in this country are obese. And more than a third of those kids are living in the inner cities. Since many urban schools don't have the money to afford PE classes, city kids are left with dilapidated sandlots and basketball courts for their exercise. And most of the times, these facilities are located in dangerous neighborhoods. Many of these children end up at home, sitting in front of a TV set or a video game. That's unfortunate, because most kids need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to stay fit.
Cruthird wants that to change and hopes she can expand her Fit Kidz program to other gyms across Massachusetts. She's psyched about the results, saying she's seen kids "lose weight...BMIs go down...When you see a child walk in and his head is down...now (his) head is up, shoulders are back and he's feeling good about himself...we can't buy that feel-good feeling."
Sounds like a positive start for a fit and productive future.
Do you know of inner city programs in your area that are helping kids? Tell us about them.
Programming note: For more on Brandy Cruthird and her Fit Kidz campaign, watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Fit Nation report on American Morning Friday 6a to 9a ET
ABOUT THE BLOGGet a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
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