Helping Kids be Kids: Children’s Obesity Fund Supports Launch of New SMaRT Kids Fitness Program

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Children’s Obesity Fund, co-founded by Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi, is helping to launch a new fitness program for preadolescents in the Phoenix area. SMaRT Kids uses safe resistance training to help kids get into better shape so they can play at a level equal to their peers and learn to be healthy and active, so they can play as kids should.

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Children’s Obesity Fund is happy to help get this program off the ground.

Line up five pre-adolescent kids in any school in America, and one of them will be overweight, classified as obese. Kids are meant to run, jump, roll, skip, hide, seek and even fall, all while laughing and playing. But it’s hard to do that while carrying an extra 30 or 40 pounds, when joints and muscles ache and everyone else is far ahead and seemingly uncatchable.

This is the reason for SMaRT Kids, a new fitness program for kids 6 to 11 years old, designed to combat today’s sedentary tendencies, build confidence and make them stronger. Working alongside health and exercise expert Dr. Vincent Bocchicchio, the creator of Slow Maximum Response Training (SMaRT), Sarah Mullane aims to reach out to the local children and families of Phoenix. Children’s Obesity Fund, cofounded by Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi are helping to launch this new kids program this spring in the Phoenix Arizona area.

“Here’s what I love about Sarah Mullane, the powerhouse behind SMaRT Kids, she literally ‘walks the talk,’” says Children’s Obesity Fund cofounder Dr. Michael Omidi. “In order to experience what overweight children live with on a daily basis, Sarah recently strapped on a 50 pound backpack and took on a 10K race the hard way. The extra weight classified Sarah as obese and gave her a real understanding of the difficulties associated with carrying around surplus pounds. With all of that devotion and enthusiasm behind it, I believe SMaRT Kids will be a true success and will help change the lives of many. Children’s Obesity Fund is happy to help get this program off the ground.”

To help kids get strong and lead active lives again, participants in SMaRT Kids receive: complete health assessments, bi-weekly activity sessions coupled with tracking and incentives, support and guidance materials for parents, and help with transportation costs to and from program sessions

The SMaRT Kids Fitness Program is for pre-adolescent obese and overweight children. It is designed to build confidence, encourage activity, increase strength and make these kids feel good about exercise. Helping underserved families in the Phoenix area, the program is led by Sarah Mullane and Dr. Vincent Bocchicchio at the Doctor’s Fitness Center, provided in conjunction with the Arizona State University School of Nutrition and Health Promotion.

Children in the program, ages 6-11 years old, will participate in a safe resistance training program with the goal of helping them get into better shape to play at the level of their peers. Resistance training uses activities that cause muscles to contract against external resistance to increase strength, tone, and muscle endurance.

SMaRT Kids is targeted for launch this spring. Donations in support of this exciting new training program for kids are being collected at:

Co-founded by Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi, the Children’s Obesity Fund ( hopes to help reverse the trend of rising obesity rates in America. The goal of the non-profit charity is to help people fully understand the obesity issue and its dire impacts on individuals and society as a whole -- and to use that knowledge to encourage children to grow up strong and healthy. Children’s Obesity Fund partners with other organizations to educate and support parents, educators and others so that we can all work together to raise healthy, active, social, and happy children. While the organization does not accept donations, it does encourage direct contributions of money and talents to the associations featured on our website. Children’s Obesity Fund is on Facebook as well as Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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