Tag Archives: obesity

Elmhurst Hospital pediatric patients to get Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

A wave of green is coming to Elmhurst Hospital.

Children who are currently patients in the pediatric center at the hospital located at 79-01 Broadway, as well as the patients’ families, will soon be given the option to enroll in the organization Wholesome Wave’s Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program.

The four-month program, which is expected to begin this month, will provide healthy eating and living assistance to about 100 families with children between 2 and 18 who are identified to be overweight and obese.

During the program, the families will have monthly meetings with hospital staff, including physicians and nutritionists, where they will receive counseling, learn about eating healthy, take part in surveys and also have their health and weight recorded after each month.

The families will also receive vouchers or prescriptions, with values that vary depending on household size, to use in green markets throughout the city. Once visiting the green market, the families will receive health bucks which they can use to purchase fruits and vegetables.

Every Tuesday outside of Elmhurst Hospital, GrowNYC holds the Elmhurst Greenmarket from 8 a.m to 4 p.m.

“We are hoping that doing this will expose the inner city families to fresh produce and what the green markets around the city have to offer,” said Dr. Randi Wasserman, director of pediatrics at Elmhurst Hospital. “We are very committed to making our children safer and healthier. This is just one step.”

Wholesome Wave, which has programs throughout 25 states, began the New York City initiative last year in Harlem and the Bronx, and this year added on Elmhurst Hospital as the first in Queens.

“[The program] shows [patients] they can live in the middle of New York City and still get fresh vegetables,” Wasserman said.

According to Wasserman, this program is only the beginning for the hospital, which hopes to create a healthy lifestyles program and also reach out to the community with other programs.

“It’s part of the bigger picture of our commitment to tackling [obesity] in our population and in the community,” Wasserman said. “We are hoping this will just be the beginning of a number of initiatives.”

 

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The importance of physical activity for all Americans


| ara@queenscourier.com

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Obesity impacts more than just the waistbands of Americans – life expectancy, health, medical spending and productivity are all affected by the weight of the nation. If recent trends continue, experts predict all adults will be overweight or obese by 2048. The statistics are equally as startling when it comes to youth – one in every three youth are overweight or obese. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

Without regular physical activity and good nutrition, these trends likely will not reverse. That is why the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works every day to promote physical activity and healthier lifestyles among all Americans regardless of age, background or ability.

The benefits of physical activity include a lower risk of premature death, lower rates of disease – including heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancers of the colon and breast – and improved cognitive capacity.

In fact, physical activity among children not only helps them stay healthy, but studies show that it can also enhance important skills like concentration and problem solving, which can improve their academic performance. PCFSN highlighted this important message in recently released public service announcements targeting parents and caregivers, which featured President’s Council co-chair Drew Brees (NFL quarterback) and three-time Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes.

Other PCFSN programs promote physical activity for a wide range of audiences – from Joining Forces (service members and their families) to I Can Do It, You Can Do It! (persons with disabilities) to a collaboration with the President’s Challenge (Presidential Youth Fitness Program for students and the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award for all ages).

Visit the new home of PCFSN at Fitness.gov to learn more about its initiatives, including the physical activity initiative to inspire youth in your community to get active and tips for getting active at any age.

This article appears on behalf of the President’s Council of Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, which resides within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Article by Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympic gymnast, motivational speaker and President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Council Member.