Overweight Teens and Pre-teens Turn Things Around
Obesity has become a serious health
problem in the United States, where approximately 16 percent of children and
adolescents are overweight.
Working with local pediatricians,
the Physical Therapy Department at Cayuga Medical Center has developed a
program for overweight adolescents, called KidFit.
This is a medically based health and fitness program that incorporates fitness,
nutrition, and recreational activities. Our goal is to
provide a supportive, caring atmosphere in which kids can begin to incorporate
activity into their lives and experience the satisfaction that comes from
becoming more fit.
How does KidFit work?
KidFit is a twelve-week program for kids
ages eight to seventeen to learn healthy eating and exercise habits while
having fun. Two separate groups, ages eight to twelve and thirteen to
seventeen, meet twice a week. Each ninety-minute session includes supervised
exercise using a variety of equipment (state-of-the-art treadmills, stationary
bicycles, elliptical trainers and weights) and nutrition counseling. The nutrition lectures, which are offered once
every other week by registered dietitian, nutritionist, and diabetes educator,
Megan Moran, RD, LDN, CDE, are mandatory for parents and children to
Who is the program right for?
The KidFit Program is for kids who struggle
with weight management or who don’t get enough physical activity.
What are the benefits?
Kids who participate in the KidFit program can
make a number of gains. They can grow stronger and
increase both their flexibility and their cardiovascular endurance. They can
improve their body composition by loosing fat and gaining muscle. With the help
of our nutrition counselor, parents and participants are better equipped to
adopt healthy eating habits. And by the end of the program, kids are able to
shift to a healthier, independent lifestyle with an ongoing exercise program
and a more nutritional, balanced diet.
Where is KidFit offered?
The Kidfit Program is offered at Island Health
and Fitness, which is located on Taughannock Boulevard, near the intersection
of Route 89 and Buffalo Street in Ithaca’s West End.
Does health insurance cover this?
The KidFit Program is not typically covered by
most insurance plans. A letter describing the program is available for people
who would like to inquire about coverage and reimbursement with their
individual insurance companies.
How do I get started?
Medical clearance is required before beginning the KidFit
Program. Every participant must have a signed medical clearance form from his
or her doctor stating that it is safe to participate in the program.
To enroll in KidFit, simply call 607-277-3861 and ask for the KidFit program coordinator.
She will schedule an interview with a KidFit program
instructor. The initial appointment takes about an hour.
During that first meeting, our KidFit
instructor will discuss the program in more detail and take you through a
health assessment. The health assessment consists of various body measurements
and a step-test to evaluate your cardiovascular system. The health assessment
is confidential and is used to monitor the progress of each participant during
KidFit is a safe, effective program that encourages
camaraderie among participants. It offers the type of emotional support and
motivation that only comes from being with a group of peers who are dealing
with similar problems and striving to make changes in their lives. Our goal is
to help kids take control over their weight and gain confidence in their
ability to be active.
John Winslow has his doctorate in
physical therapy and is certified both as a strength
and conditioning specialist and as an athletic trainer. He is director of
Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine at Cayuga Medical Center.