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Free Virtual Health Coaching for Your Child

Is your family curious about cooking? Do your child want to reach a sports goal? Would more energy and less stress make your child happier? Join forces with a Kurbo Health Coach and make your dreams a reality! Thanks to the Winter Park Health Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children, 3 months of free, live, real-time health coaching is at your fingertips, with a health coach that suits YOUR style!

Call the Center for Florida Hospital’s Center for Child & Family Wellness at 407.303.9200 for more information.

‘Fat Shaming’ Begins in First Grade

Adapted from MedlinePlus

As early as first grade, severely obese children are getting teased, picked on and bullied more than normal-weight kids, a new study finds.

The new research also found that these severely obese youngsters are more likely to be depressed and withdrawn. Obese children may turn to eating to cope with the pain of rejection or skip school to avoid being bullied, the researchers said.

“The social climate at school can exacerbate weight and learning problems because it is so unpleasant,” said lead researcher Amanda Harrist, a professor of child development at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

For many obese kids, home may not be much better, she said. Other studies have shown that obese children often have families that don’t handle their emotions well and make fun of their kids’ feelings, Harrist said.

“At school, these kids are teased and picked on, and nobody is playing with them, and they go home and don’t get emotional support,” she said.

Teachers need to be sensitive to the fact that these kids are being mistreated, Harrist said. But teachers can be biased against obese children, too — even overweight teachers are sometimes biased, she added.

School programs that focus on accepting people who are different may be one way of overcoming weight bias and improving the school environment for obese kids, Harrist said.

Click here to read more.

Lifelong Learning Volunteers Teach Children to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit

Children and seniors are getting active and healthy together thanks to the CATCH Healthy Habits program.

Supported in part by a grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), the CATCH Healthy Habits program enlists teams of specially trained older adult volunteers to work with children in after-school and summer programs in school- and community-based settings. Teams of 5-8 adults lead children in a 60 minute lesson each week consisting of a nutritious snack, health lesson and physical activity.

CATCH Healthy Habits is a program offered through VOICE (Volunteers Organized in Community Engagement). VOICE is a program of the Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning.

Data from the CATCH Healthy Habits sessions held in the WPHF catchment areas shows the program has resulted in successfully improving youth and seniors’ eating habits, increasing levels of participation in physical activities, reducing screen time, and fostering development of positive intergenerational relationships.

CATCH Healthy Habits at Rollins was established in response to the rising rate of childhood obesity in the United States. Central Florida mirrors this epidemic as the 2013 Professional Research Consultants Child & Adolescent Health Needs Assessment conducted on behalf of Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando found that 26.7 percent of children ages 5 to 17 in Orange County, Florida, are overweight or obese.

Adults are not immune to the obesity epidemic either. According to the Healthy Central Florida study, The State of Our Health 2015, 26 percent of adults (age 18 and older) in the study’s targeted communities of Winter Park, Maitland, and Eatonville are obese.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020, children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. They are likely to stay overweight or obese into adulthood, placing them at increased risk for serious chronic diseases. The CATCH Healthy Habits program and its team of older adult volunteers is making a very positive impact for both children and older adults on reducing this epidemic and lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

“I love being able to connect with the children and enrich their lives with healthy habits and smart food choices,” says Marie Lee Jenkins, a Rollins CATCH Healthy Habits volunteer .

“We are very grateful to the Winter Park Health Foundation for their generous support of the program,” says Holly Tanyhill, coordinator for CATCH Healthy Habits. “It is so great to see such a valuable program provide an opportunity for children and seniors to learn healthy habits together.”

Adults 50 and older who are interested in volunteering or learning more about CATCH Healthy Habits may call (407) 646-2459 or write htanyhill@rollins.edu.

If you are interested in bringing CATCH Healthy Habits to your school or organization, please contact Healthy Kids Today.