• DrAliABY Muhammed

MOER Foundation uses We Can! to Educate Boston Parents and Youth about Obesity

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

Community Forums Bringing Underserved And Underprivileged Families Together

The Moer Foundation, a general community site in Boston, Massachusetts, is a non-profit organization with affiliate sites located in North Carolina, Georgia, and New York. Last fall, the Foundation used We Can! program materials to discuss the importance of healthy eating with local parents and children.

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. Children who are obese are above the normal weight for their age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once considered adult problems diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Many obese children become obese adults, especially if one or both parents are obese. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression. One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the eating and exercise habits of your entire family. Treating and preventing childhood obesity helps protect your child's health now and in the future. Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. The causes of obesity are complex and include genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural factors. Basically, obesity

occurs when a person eats more calories than the body burns up. If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that the children will also be obese. However, when both parents are obese, the children have an 80 percent chance of being obese.! On average, more than 30 families attend these meetings and learn about the importance of increased physical activity, improved nutrition, and reducing screen time.

The Moer Foundation emphasizes the theme—"lose your weight, not your culture"—which demonstrates their belief in the need for culturally sensitive health education programs within current childhood overweight prevention strategies. In 2008, the site will officially launch its We Can! program with a Walk-a-Thon. It is also planning to expand its We Can! programming by signing up its affiliate locations as new We Can! community sites in the coming year.

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