Childhood obesity has quadrupled in the past 30 years and the trend is no different in Charlottesville. Many of the children in our own community are overweight.
One out of every two children in Charlottesville city schools is overweight. Now, the UVA Children's Hospital Fitness Clinic is working to slow the problem and change trends in families lifestyles. The clinic has served over 1,100 children since opening in 2003. They have six-month programs designed to change exercise and eating habits for an entire family.
Being overweight is dangerous because it can lead to other health risks, such as diabetes and heart disease. Because of the possibility for future problems, pediatricians say something needs to be done now.
"What we need to do for these children is change their eating practices for the longhaul, for the course of their life," stated Dr. Mark Deboer with the UVA Children's Hospital.
There's an effort on the state level to solve the problem as well. The House of Delegates passed a bill earlier this month that would now incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity into a schools plan each day. The senate will address the measure in a couple of weeks.
The term "overweight" takes on different meanings depending on factors such as how tall a child is. To find out more on whether or not your child is considered overweight, use the BMI Calculation links.
The UVA Children's Hospital is hosting a party Friday night to raise money for the fitness clinic. The 70's themed gala, "The Main Event," starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Abbot Center at the Darden School. There will be cocktails, food, a fashion show and dancing.
If you are interested in purchasing a ticket to the event, click here or call 434-924-8432. Money raised from the gala will fund things like home visits by a nutritionist and exercise equipment.