The University of Florida is offering a new weight management program geared towards the families of overweight children in Alachua County. The program, Fun & Fit Families, is a family-based lifestyle intervention that allows children and parents to work together to make healthy dietary and physical activity changes in their lives.
Fun & Fit Families focuses on children who are overweight and obese by helping families make gradual changes in their choices and manage real-life situations. It is designed for children ages eight to 12 with an above-average body mass index based on age and gender norms. Ideas for snack preparation and physical activity are provided at every session for both parents and children, emphasizing the opportunities to eat healthy snacks and highlighting fun ways to stay physically active. Because obesity can lead to various health problems, Fun & Fit Families promotes healthy body weight, positive self-esteem, and a healthier lifestyle.
Fun & Fit Families is a collaboration between three UF colleges, including the College of Medicine, the College of Public Health and Health Professions, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The effectiveness of the program on children’s heart disease risk factors, including dietary intake, physical activity, and blood vessel stiffness will be studied by Janet Silverstein, M.D., principal investigator and professor of pediatric endocrinology, and David Janicke, Ph.D., an associate professor of clinical and health psychology.
Results will be used to continually improve the program with the long-term goal of expanding its reach to a much larger scale. The program is funded by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Community Access to Child Health program and the UF Department of Pediatrics.
During the 16-week program, families will meet weekly for eight weeks and then bi-weekly for eight weeks. There will also be four participant assessment visits throughout the program.
To learn more or to register for the program, contact Fun & Fit Families at (352) 334-1399.
Meeting are held at the Southwest Advocacy Group Family Resource Center at 807 SW 64th Terrace.