New Three-Month Program Helps Families Choose Healthier Lifestyl - WSET.com - ABC13

New Three-Month Program Helps Families Choose Healthier Lifestyle

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Danville, VA-- It's an alarming statistic, parents need to pay attention to. According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years.

Some organizations in Danville are on a mission to make sure children in that area don't become a statistic. Danville Parks and Recreation hosted a brand new program Saturday called iChoose.

They have 26 families going through this three-month program. They'll attend several classes on nutrition, and have weekly exercise sessions. The main goal:  for families to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

With every push up, sit up and jumping jack, these local parents hope they'll start seeing a change for the better in their children.

"Try to get healthier and both of us to lose some weight, a little more moving around and exercising," said Lisa Whitt, a parent in the program.

For the next 12 weeks, iChoose Program, organized by the Dan River Partnership for a Healthy Community is helping them reach their goal. They first start of with classes on nutrition. 

"Parents and kids come together every other Saturday for 12 weeks and then the kids get to come to a Tuesday night physical activity session here at City Auditorium and they do that. On the Saturdays that they don't meet with their families, they come here as well and do physical activity," said Paul Estabrooks, Professor of Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise at Virginia Tech.

"We're trying to show them exercises or fun things they can do so they won't be thinking, oh God, I've go to exercise," said Bryan Price, Health and Wellness Coordinator for Danville Parks and Recreation.

For Lisa Whitt and her son Ryan, this program is critical.

"It's going to be a lifestyle change. He has sleep apnea and it's coming from being overweight," said Whitt. 

She said the weight gain comes from the convenience of fast food, and her son's love of playing video games. But she said now it stops.

"It's going to be difficult, but it'll happen," Whitt said. 

"With parents, the more that they're engaged and doing these things with their kids, rather than telling their kids to do them, the better it, and that's a lot about what the iChoose program is about," said Estabrooks. 

"The most important thing about feeling healthy is having a high quality of life and I think that's something that everybody wants," said Price.

Organizers said will do two more phases of the iChoose program with different families throughout the year. After that, they'll measure the success of the program before they open it up to the public.

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