6/1/11 - Totally Fit Health Program
New "Totally Fit" Program Helps Cure Childhood Obesity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/1/2011 ATTN: Community Affairs, Children, Health
Contact: Andrea Cody Office: 713-526-1049
Houston TX--Childhood obesity is on the rise, and Dance Houston is doing something about it. In the United States, it has risen from 5.75% in 1980 to 18.85% in 2008. To help combat this growing problem, Dance Houston has launched a program called “Totally Fit”. Totally fit is a free of cost program designed for economically disadvantaged girls ages 6-16 who are in need of healthy activities. Dance Houston seeks to encourage and inspire these girls to get in better shape through dance. With the help of a team of professional counsellors, nutritionists, and nurses, the organization ensures the pursuit of healthy lifestyles by the students.
The children attend a Saturday morning session for 7 weeks during which they take classes geared toward their individual needs. During registration, participants are interviewed and asked what styles of dance they would like to learn. The kids say they like it all, so Dance Houston brings them a bit of everything—a diverse program of hip hop, salsa, Bollywood, ballet and much more!
Dance Houston successfully completed its second Totally Fit session which ran from April 2 to May 14, 2011 at Tidwell Park. Trained counsellors will follow up with the participants on a monthly basis for a period of one to three years. Dance Houston is looking forward to the upcoming Totally Fit 6 Month Reunion, and expects to encounter measurable results including decrease in the girl’s BMI and weight loss. After completing its first session last year in 2010, the girls lost on average half a pound each, which is remarkable considering the normal growth rate for their age is 5-7 pounds a year.
Another great component of this program is the parent nutrition class. The parent class is offered throughout the program and runs simultaneously yet separate from the child’s nutrition class. The class serves as a forum for parents to voice their concerns and obtain answers on how they can positively influence their child’s nutrition. With activities such as the supermarket tour, during which the parents receive advice and tips while looking at products, participants become more positively involved with their entire family’s nutrition.
“There has been an enormous amount of interest from parents throughout Houston to bring Totally Fit to their neighborhoods,” states Andrea Cody, Founding Director or Dance Houston. “Our goal over the next year is to generate enough interest and support to have Totally Fit as an ongoing program in five parks. If we can get them up and running throughout the greater Houston area, then we can guarantee its accessibility to pretty much all kids who need it.”
As further contribution to its wonderful programs, Houston is hosting its First Benefit Celebration on July 14th at the House of Deréon. The theme of the upcoming event is All That Jazz and will contribute in raising $100,000 to continue to enrich the lives of economically disadvantaged children by offering them dance activities such as Totally Fit. You can find out more information on this event and purchase a pre-sale ticket for $50 on our website at http://www.dancehouston.org. Tickets at the door cost $60.
“We are so grateful to all the people who helped make Totally Fit a success. We couldn’t have done it without the tremendous support of volunteers and the financial contributions of supporters,” said Cody. Support for Totally Fit comes from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Individual donors are also instrumental in the program’s continued development.
Overall, the program has been successful due to the combination of open communication regarding nutrition and physical exercise which is making a positive impact on the participants and their families. This program not only helps kids and teenagers improve their physical fitness and body image, but it also helps them build the confidence they need to succeed in life.