(PRWEB) May 12, 2014
A non-profit cofounded by Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi, the Children’s Obesity Fund, is supporting a new children’s anti-obesity program being implemented by the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs (Young Men’s Christian Association) and Harvard School of Public Health. The OSNAP program is a continuation of the association’s mission to be a catalyst for addressing and ending childhood obesity for the children served. Using the YMCA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards, the program includes daily exercise and healthy snacks along with an education component to instill good, healthy lifestyle choices.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, last year the percentage of overweight or obese students in the state was at 30.6 percent. According to the Children’s Obesity Fund cofounder Dr. Michael Omidi, “That’s down from previous years, which is great, but we want that downward trend to continue and we believe this new anti-obesity program by the Alliance of YMCAs will help do that. Education and hands-on training for kids and parents are the most effective weapons in this national battle and we are proud to help fund this extraordinary new program.”
The initial introduction of the The OSNAP Program will be within 15 to 20 of the YMCA’s after school sites, impacting approximately 1,000 children. Plans are to eventually expand the program to all 100 or so YMCA early education and after school sites for maximum impact on childhood obesity rates throughout the state.
“This program will assist the efforts of all the Massachusetts YMCA’s in their efforts to decrease the rate of childhood obesity in the Commonwealth,” said the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCA’s Executive Director Peter Doliber, “We are grateful to the Children’s Obesity Fund for the seed funding for this program and hopeful that other organizations will come forward to participate in this unique partnership.”
The Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs is committed to decreasing the prevalence of childhood obesity for the youth in its care. This primary prevention program will institute Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards with a focus on education through hand on experiences. The program includes 30 minutes of physical daily activity, fruits and vegetables for snack, and water only to drink. Desired outcomes are greater knowledge of physical activity and healthy nutrition as well as increased cardiovascular health and physical endurance for all participating youth. The program lasts for twelve months with assessments of learning and physical activity taken quarterly. Those interested in more information or wanting to make a donation, should contact the Alliance’s Director of Health Initiatives, Kate-Marie Roycroft at Kate-Marie.Roycroft(at)maymca(dot)com.
Every day, the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs serves one million people in 100 communities through programs that address youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Alliance develops all statewide program efforts including childhood obesity, summer literacy, child protection, and youth at risk programs and also advocates for funding and consistent policies on the organization’s behalf.
Cofounded by Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi, the Children’s Obesity Fund (http://www.childrensobesityfund.org) 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 their website. Children’s Obesity Fund is on Facebook as well as Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.