Phoebe holds a fitness camp for kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe holds a fitness camp for kids

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 9 million children between the ages of 6 and 19 are obese. But, this week, one local hospital is holding a camp that is trying to make a small dent in those numbers.

Childhood obesity is a growing problem not only in America but throughout much of the rest of the world as well. Kids today have a lot of things to keep them from being active.

"We know that children spend a lot of time in front of the computer, television, video games," said Terrie Alby, Fitness Coordinator with Phoebe Healthworks.

And in addition to this sedentary lifestyle is the issue of poor nutrition.

"Kids are not eating healthy choices," said Alby.

All of which leads to an alarming trend.

According to Alby, "there is research out there that this will be the first generation coming up that will NOT outlive their parents."

And every year, millions of dollars are spent treating diseases such as diabetes which are often brought about by obesity. But now Phoebe Putney hospital is trying to do something about the problem on a local level.

To help combat this epidemic of childhood obesity, Phoebe Healthworks is starting up a Summertime program for children of it's employees.

This week, the campers are learning about good habits, such as cooking healthier meals and playing sports. But that's not all that they're doing.

"We do arts and crafts. And then we bring in a variety of guest speakers in, such as Department of Natural Resources," said Melissa Grubbs, a Program Coordinator with Phoebe Healthworks.

And they've seen a good turnout.  "There are 60 kids this week," according to Grubbs.

One of the kids that's taking part is 10 year old Obie Bishop. What is he most looking forward to here?

"To meet new friends and have a good time," he said.

But even if you're not a Phoebe employee, you can still take steps to make sure that your kids are living a healthy lifestyle while having as much fun as Obie and his friends.

Alby said, "you're out there together, riding bikes, playing catch, going to the park, taking walks together."

So with a little time and effort, kids here - and all around Southwest Georgia - can make their fitness goals.

The Centers for Disease Control says that obese children have a 7 in 10 chance of becoming obese adults.

And that number rises to 8 in 10 if one of the parents is also obese.

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