Mall walk fights obesity

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:12

    POMPTON PLAINS - Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 64 percent of U.S. adults are overweight, and the American Dietetic Association reports one out of three children between the ages of 6 and 19 is overweight, according to officials at Chilton Memorial Hospital here. For years, individuals have been encouraged to eat properly and to exercise regularly. Now, efforts are underway to encourage families to get in shape and to fight obesity together. Chilton and the Wayne Health Department invite families to participate in "Willowbrook's Family Health Kick," from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday, May 8. The event will include stretching exercises, a mall walk/scavenger hunt, health screenings, and an opportunity for parents to update their children's current photo and vital information through Project KidCare, which is offered through the Polaroid Corporation in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "Since the US Department of Health and Human Services reports that $117 billion is spent on obesity-related illness, walking is a step in the right direction to get weight under control," says Wayne Health Department Educator Michele McGrogan. "The ‘Health Kick' will help families get into the swing of things for the spring and summer since walking contributes to cardiovascular fitness, weight loss, cholesterol control, reduced high blood pressure and protection against osteoporosis." Registration for the Family Mall Walk Scavenger Hunt will take place between 9 and 9:30 a.m. at the entry of Bloomingdale's Court at Willowbrook Mall. Stretching and warm up exercises will be offered by Chilton Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation staff members from 9:30 - 10 a.m. A mall walk/scavenger hunt that encourages families to identify healthy foods displayed in retailers' windows will be held between 10 a.m. and noon. Project KidCare photos and vital information can be completed between noon and 2 p.m. Participants who register for the mall walk/scavenger hunt will be issued a card with clues that will help them determine which retailers have healthy foods displayed in their windows hospital spokeswoman Sharon Clancy explained. "It's an ideal way for parents to help children of all ages learn the importance of eating the right foods, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and that their safety is paramount. By devoting family time to the activity, parents send a powerful message to their children."