Free Health Program at Area YMCAs to Take on Childhood Obesity

A new pilot program is rolling out in our area next month thanks to the Wilkes-Barre Family and Greater Scranton YMCAs.

Registration is now underway!

It's called "Healthy Weight and Your Child."

Organizers say the program is designed to "empower children between the ages of 7 to 13, with the support of their families, to reach a healthy weight and live a healthier lifestyle."


  • The program is free and you don't have to be a Y member.
  • Both Ys received a grant from YMCA of the USA to implement the program.
  • Children eligible for the program must be between the ages of 7 and 13, have a body mass index greater than or equal to the 95th percentile, receive approval from their doctor or a health care provider, and accompanied by an adult at every session.


Contact Brandon Whipple at for the class schedule.

Call the Chronic Disease Prevention Departments at the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA at 570-970-5052 or the Greater Scranton YMCA 570-828-3230 for more info.


The 25-session program engages the whole family, so together they can understand how the home environment works and other factors influence the choices that lead to a healthy weight. Additionally, the program combines three elements of healthy eating, regular physical activity, and behavior change.

Made up of groups of eight to 15 children and an accompanying adult, the program creates a safe, fun, and active environment for children and their families to explore and adopt proven methods to living a healthier lifestyle.

Sessions are two hours in length, with the first hour delivered in a classroom setting and the second hour focusing on physical activity.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that obesity affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States, which is triple the rate from just one generation ago.

One in six children are obese and one in three are overweight. This all poses greater risks for a number of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and mental health issues.

1 Comment

  • Rusty Knyffe

    One of the most insidious contributors to this dreadful epidemic is the “acceptance” movements that have allowed and, in many cases, encouraged children to behave in every way that is detrimental to their well-being. “Fat acceptance” is not a good thing, folks. Obesity isn’t “beautiful,” nor is it “brave” for people to go around eating themselves into an early grave. It’s just that simple. Doing what we think we want to do has consequences and dire ramifications. That’s the bottom line, not how someone “feels” when they’re hit over the proverbial head with the facts.

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