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POV: Childhood obesity a national concern

Surveys taken by youngsters in grades 3 to 5 before starting the program and after completing at least eight weeks of classes have yielded evidence of many positive changes in eating habits and physical activity levels for participating children. Here is a sample of the survey results gathered by the OASIS Institute in the past 18 months:

• Children reading food labels on packaging increased by 14 percent

• Children eating 2 and 3 more fruits a day increased by 16 percent

• Children wanting to continue participating in classes – 83 percent

• Children who stated they had fun exercising – 91 percent

• Children who stated learning something new about health - 93 percent

CATCH Healthy Habits programs for youngsters in grades 3 to 5 are being offered in two locations in Albany starting this fall: Girls, Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region and the Police Athletic League of Albany. For more information about classes or for the many ways that adult volunteers over 50 can help bring this important program to Albany’s children, please contact CATCH Healthy Habits Coordinator Julie Liss, at 465-3322 or by email at jliss@seniorservicesofalbany.com.

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