April 25 - Healthy Youth - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

April 25 - Healthy Youth

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GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - The Maryland Community Health Resources commission (CHRC) announced a grant award to the Somerset County Health Department to address childhood obesity.  

This $250,000 grant, known as Healthy Youth, will enable Somerset County to motivate and support youth and their families to make better health choices by providing education, resources and opportunities that may not have previously been available to them. The goal is to significantly reduce the Body Mass Index (BMI) of Somerset County youth through public awareness campaigns, enhanced healthy eating behaviors and increased physical activities.

Childhood obesity is a significant public health concern, since children and adolescents who are obese are likely to suffer serious health consequences.  They are at greater risk for premature death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and osteoarthritis.  The Center for Disease Control reports that overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk for many types of cancers, including multiple myeloma and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Most recent data confirms that Somerset County's childhood obesity rate of 21.3% is the highest in the State of Maryland, with significant disparity between White (17.6%), African American (23%) and Hispanic (30.2%) youth.

Healthy Youth is based on strong community partnerships between the Somerset County Health Department, Somerset County Public Schools, Somerset Department of Recreation and Parks, Three Lower Counties Community services, Inc., McCready Foundation, Eastern Correctional Institution and Somerset Local Health Disparities Committee.

A kick-off event to raise awareness about childhood obesity is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2014, from 11 am to 3 pm at the Somerset Recreation and Parks fields in Westover.  This event will feature live music, sports, games, food, entertainment, prizes and educational displays from numerous vendors in and around the community. All families are invited to attend.  It will take place at the Somerset County Recreation and Parks, located at: 30290 Sam Barnes Rd, Westover, MD 21871.

Please contact the Somerset County Health Department for further information about Healthy Youth at 443-523-1790.

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