Fit Club: Getting kids fit - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fit Club: Shape Down program

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. If your child is having a problem, getting help when their young, can make all the difference.

Now that school is out, it's time for kids to make some choices.

"We are giving them good habits they can use for the rest of their life," said Candler Wellness Exercise Specialist Michelle LaFleur. "It's behavior modification program."

To help get children moving and learn to reach for healthier options, St. Joseph's Candler is hosting the Shape Down summer camp.

"We make it fun, like a summer camp," said LaFleaur. "We are incorporating good nutritional habits. We have food labs, where they can learn to eat more healthy, whether it's fresh fruits, vegetables and saying no to fatty foods. We have activities that are vigorous. We may take them to the pool, take them bowling, have tag weightlifting classes. [There's] some exposure to physical activity."

Obesity not only affects a child's physical condition, it also has an impact on their self esteem. That is why counselors are teaching campers ways to deal with stress and bullying.

"We also target the emotional component," said LaFleaur. "What do to when you are bored or when things are not right when you want to reach for food; targeting those emotional habits centered around food."

The camp aims to teach children and their parents how to live more health conscious lifestyles.

"Kids imitate what they see and do and with parents being very busy there isn't a lot of cooking in the kitchen," said LaFleaur. "Parents just sit down and grab things on the fly. They are doing what they see. It is the parent that needs to take a proactive stance into what their child is taking into their mouth."

With children not being in school, this is a perfect time to expose them to a healthy tips, ones that can last them a lifetime.

The Shape Down program is now filled, but you can still register your child ages 6 to 12 for Kidz Fitness. Classes are being held at the Wellness Center at Candler Hospital.

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