“Diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases that we once saw primarily in adults are becoming more common in children,” said Huntington pediatrician Thomas McDonagh, MD. “And research has shown that overweight children and adolescents are more likely to be overweight as adults, when they will face an even greater risk of serious, chronic health problems.”
Four years ago, Dr. McDonagh helped launch Huntington Hospital’s Healthier Tomorrows Program, a unique, three month program to help parents and children lead healthier lives by teaching them to embrace a balanced diet and exercise. The next session begins with an orientation on September 12.
Healthier Tomorrows is a unique program combining fun group exercise sessions with nutritional guidance and psychosocial support. It is sponsored jointly by Huntington Hospital’s Department of Pediatrics, the Dolan Family Health Center and the Huntington YMCA.
Because children still need adequate nutrition and calories to sustain growth, Healthier Tomorrows focuses on healthy food choices rather than a traditional diet. A registered dietitian helps participants understand how the foods they eat impact on their overall well-being. To address the social and emotional implications of weight management issues, a social worker leads bi-weekly group discussion sessions.
Participants enjoy twice-a-week 45-minute group exercise classes led by exercise specialists at the Huntington YMCA. The sessions include games, sports, rock wall climbing, and other fun activities geared to children.
There is a nominal fee for this innovative program, with financial assistance available for those who are unable to pay. To learn more or to register, please call (631) 351-7923.
Mdia Contact: Theresa Jacobellis