On the MEND

New MEND program in town aims to create healthy kids

Quesnel families could soon be learning fun ways to get fit and healthy thanks to the first session of a free healthy lifestyle program starting in January.

The MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it!) ten-week healthy lifestyle program is available to families with children aged between 7 and thirteen who are above a healthy weight.

Sessions aim to improve children’s physical activity levels, nutrition and self-esteem.

With one in four children above a healthy weight, the program is delivered by the YMCA of Northern B.C. to improve the health of local kids.

MEND will take place twice a week at Quesnel and District’s Arts and Recreation Centre from January 15 – March 22.

During the program, families will learn about nutrition and how to make healthy choices as well as take part in fun games and activities.

MEND is not a weight loss program, rather it is about empowering children and their families, and uses a practical interactive learning approach to teach children and parents skills for healthy living.

MEND was developed in the United Kingdom and tested by leading experts in child nutrition, child behaviour and exercise.

In 2011, MEND was adapted to align with Canadian dietary and policy guidelines.

Independent research demonstrated that children who attended the MEND program experienced long-term health benefits, including weight loss and improvements in fitness and self-esteem.

“We have delivered this program in Prince George twice and are thrilled about the expansion into Quesnel,” says Cheryl Wallace, YMCA Director of Association Services.

“When we offered MEND in Prince George this year, we attracted sixteen families over the two sessions.”

Places are limited and pre-registration is required, so if you think your child is above a healthy weight and would like to find out more about MEND, please contact Cheryl Wallace at 250 562 9309 x 213.

MEND is one component of the Childhood Healthy Weights Intervention Initiative, a new initiative launched in April 2013 by the Childhood Obesity Foundation in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health. The Province of BC has provided the Childhood Obesity Foundation with funding for planning, implementation and evaluation of the Childhood Healthy Weights Intervention Initiative. The Initiative supports Healthy Families BC, the government’s public-health strategy that focuses on leadership, prevention and health improvement for British Columbian families and their communities. MEND Media Release October 2013 Page 2 of 2

The Childhood Obesity Foundation has partnered with the YMCA and BC Recreation and Parks Association to bring MEND to communities throughout BC. The MEND program will be delivered by the YMCA and BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) member recreation departments, with support from the Childhood Obesity Foundation.

 

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