NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The YMCA of Greater New York, the city’s leading youth services provider – today hosted a panel discussion aimed at tackling New York City’s growing childhood obesity epidemic. The panel, titled “Community Strategies in Fighting Childhood Obesity,” convenes community and wellness change agents Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Howell Wechsler, CEO of Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and Jack Lund, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. The event is part of the Y’s annual “Community Conversation” breakfast series focused on addressing some of New York City’s toughest social issues.
Current research shows that one in five New York City kindergarten students is considered obese by clinical standards and at risk for chronic diseases often seen in adults such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
“Often, progress is mistaken for success,” said Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. “It’s important that organizations like the YMCA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation work together to fill the gaps for children so they have the resources to live active and healthy lives.”
“In my 18 years at the CDC, we found that community organizations, with their deep understanding of the needs of the people they serve, can be a powerful agent of change in a neighborhood,” said Howell Wechsler, CEO of Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “I am thrilled to work with the Y to help develop solutions to combat and prevent childhood obesity.”
“A critical part of the Y’s mission is helping families understand the risks of childhood obesity and the lifetime benefits of eating right and getting physically active,” said Jack Lund, CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. “The Y is proud to facilitate collaboration and discussion between two of the nation’s top health experts and offer innovative fitness programs like Y-MVP to help create real and lasting community change.”
As part of the Y’s ongoing efforts to combat childhood obesity, the organization recently launched the Y-MVP program to encourage and incentivize teens to increase their daily levels of Moderate to Vigorous Physical activity (MVP). Combining digital technologies with the wide range of YMCA youth sports and fitness programming, Y-MVP will track, assess, and reward teens’ physical activity levels. By 2015, this interactive program will engage more than 20,000 young people with digital badges and tangible incentives, helping them to develop a sense of responsibility for their personal fitness, celebrate their accomplishments, and map their journey towards lifelong healthy habits.
To learn more about the Y’s childhood obesity prevention efforts and healthy living programs, visit www.ymcanyc.org.
About the YMCA of Greater New York
The YMCA of Greater New York is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves New York City’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In scores of neighborhoods across the five boroughs and its camp upstate, the Y makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower more than 500,000 New Yorkers to learn, grow and thrive. Visit ymcanyc.org. Twitter: @ymcanyc Facebook: facebook.com/ymcanyc #BeCauseY