FEBRUARY 28, 2013
If your child has struggled with weight issues, a program founded by Pepper Henyon, MD, of Bozeman Deaconess Pediatrics can help you and your child learn to develop a healthier lifestyle.

“Eat, Live, Play” is a 12-week motivational course offered jointly by Bozeman Deaconess Health Services and the Gallatin Valley YMCA that combats obesity through exercise for children and counseling and nutrition education for the whole family.

“An estimated 30% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese,” Dr. Henyon said. “Since Bozeman is so far from a children’s hospital where they treat obesity, I was frustrated that there was no coordinated treatment in our area for this condition.”
So she got the ball rolling with “Eat, Live, Play,” where groups of ten or fewer children meet twice weekly for 60 minutes of exercise led by certified personal trainers, followed by a healthy snack along with a short nutrition lesson or psychology discussion. Each child also keeps a daily food log.

Parents attend three group sessions with Saralyn Spaulding, a registered dietician at Bozeman Deaconess, to learn how to provide their kids healthy meals, and with Hailey Bornstein, psychologist at Bozeman Deaconess Pediatrics, to learn how to combat difficulties that arise with an overweight child. Additionally, families receive regular emails with advice and tips on healthy choices.
“Childhood obesity has real implications for their health as adults,” Dr. Henyon added. “This program helps families make healthy lifestyle changes.”

The first session finished recently with some impressive results among the seven participants ages eight to 14, including four- to six-pound weight losses and a drop in triglycerides in one participant from 232 to 108.

The next session, for children ages 13-18, will begin in mid-March. To learn more about the program or registration requirements, call the YMCA at 994-9622.

“My goal,” Dr. Henyon smiled, “is that someday the program will have to end because we have eliminated childhood obesity.”


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