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The Y Encourages Snohomish County Families to Address Healthy Living during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month


September 11, 2012

The Y Encourages Snohomish County Families to Address Healthy Living during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

The YMCA of Snohomish County offers healthy eating and physical activity tips to help residents live healthier

EVERETT, Wash ., Sept. 5, 2012 – September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and the YMCA of Snohomish County — a leader in youth development and healthy living—wants to help families in Snohomish County understand the risks of childhood obesity and how to incorporate regular physical activity and healthy eating into their lives.

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Today’s families are juggling so many tasks that nutrition and exercise often take a back seat. It doesn’t help that fast food and passive entertainment like video games and TV are a big part of our culture. At any age, a sedentary lifestyle can start dragging your child down, physically and emotionally.

More alarming, obesity puts children at risk for chronic diseases often seen in adults, such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

“At the YMCA of Snohomish County, we want families to understand the risks of childhood obesity and the lifetime benefits of eating right and getting physically active,” said Scott Washburn, President/CEO, YMCA of Snohomish County. “Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to healthy living and the Y is a great place for families to get started.”

This health crisis sheds light on the need to provide children and parents with the resources and the support they need, emphasizing that small steps can lead to sustained changes to reverse the childhood obesity trend. The following tips can help families live healthier:

  1. Eat Healthy: Make water the drink of choice (supplemented by 100 percent fruit juices and low-fat milk) and have fruits and vegetables available at every meal. Snack time should include foods that contain whole grains and lean protein instead of saturated and trans fats.

  1. Play Every Day/Go Outside: Kids and adults should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of physical activity.

  1. Get Together: At least once a day families should dine together, with kids involved in meal preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should spend one-on-one time each day with their kids.

  1. Reduce Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, cell phone and video game should be limited to two hours per day.

  1. Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule—10-12 hours per night for kids and seven to eight hours for adults.

To help combat this epidemic, the YMCA of Snohomish County offers ACT!, a nutrition, activity, and self-improvement program for youth ages 8-11 and teens ages 12-14 and their parents. This is a community-based program for youth who are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. A YMCA Health & Well-Being Team teaches fun ways to be active, eat, and create healthy lifestyles for the whole family. To be involved in ACT!, one adult family member or guardian must participate.

ACT! is presented in partnership with the YMCA of Snohomish County, Seattle Children’s Hospital, The Everett Clinic, and Providence Physicians Group. ACT! offers well-established nutrition and exercise principles that your family can put into action right away. These new habits will enhance your child’s health and strengthen family bonds. With parents taking the lead, families get motivated and enjoy results together. Research has shown that parents are often their children’s most important role models. When kids see their parents enjoying healthy foods and being active, they are more likely to do the same.1

1 Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

ACT! Programs begin soon at all five YMCA of Snohomish County family branches. For more information contact your local YMCA family branch or visit our website for a program brochure, information on how to enroll, and the physician referral form:

Everett Branch

Start Date: September 11

Tuesdays 4:30–6 pm

Kids 8–11

Contact Gael Thomson 425 374 5703

Marysville Branch

Start Date: September 12

Wednesdays 6:30-8 pm

Spanish interpreter available

Kids 8–11

Contact Kathy Maness 360 651 1625

Mill Creek Branch

Orientation Date: September 17

Start Date: September 24

Mondays 6-7:30 pm

Kids 8–11

Contact Jeralin Olson 425 357 3033

Monroe/Sky Valley Branch

Orientation Date: September 25

Start Date: October 2

Tuesdays 6-7:30 pm

Kids 8–11

Contact Lynnette Monpas 360 804 2162

Mukilteo Branch

Orientation Date: September 18

Start Date: September 25

Tuesdays 6-7:30 pm

Kids 8–11

Contact Laurie George 425 493 2407

About YMCA of Snohomish County

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The YMCA of Snohomish County has been serving and strengthening our communities since 1901 and has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. The Y offers programs, services, and initiatives to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. For more information please visit us online at


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