Today’s news:

‘Live Light’ with Brookdale

The “Live Light — Live Right Program,” Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center’s pediatric obesity program has, for the second year, received a substantial grant from the Robin Hood Foundation. This year’s grant, in the amount of $380,000 will be used exclusively for expansion of the program.

“We will increase screening and treatment for pediatric obesity and spread the program to other areas of Brooklyn,” stated Dr. Sarita Dhuper, director of Pediatric Cardiology and the “Live Light — Live Right Program.”

Other program goals include the initiation of two more community-based exercise programs, work with the schools on the school food program, strategic planning for long term vision to address childhood obesity in Brooklyn.

One of the recent achievements of the program, which is constantly exploring opportunities to impact the lives of Brooklyn’s youth, was the partnership fostered with the Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency that since 1877 has provided free summer vacations in their Fishkill, NY camps to more than 1.7 million children for disadvantaged communities from New York City.

The pilot program, with the Fresh Air Fund was initiated this summer, to create the first overweight camp in the country for lower income families. Forty qualifying members of the program spent two-week sessions on a sprawling 2,300 acre campground hiking, swimming, boating and enjoying all the regular activities every child does at summer camp while at the same time learning about proper nutrition and exercise.

A community-based program for overweight children ages five to 19, Live Light has also launched a new and unique 12-week Core Program. According to the program, participating members are divided into five groups in accordance with the facility where they attend their exercise sessions including: the Brownsville Recreation Center, the Flatbush YMCA, the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA, Q-Fitness Center and the Flatbush Shotokan Karate Program.

As part of the program, kids must attend an exercise program twice a week, attend a peer support group once a month and two group nutrition workshops; one at the beginning of the 12 week session program and one at the end.

What makes this program so unique is that it involves the parents as well. They must attend a monthly parent support group, two group nutrition sessions with their children and attend the monthly clinic appointment with their child. “Knowing that their parents are working together with them to achieve success in their fight against obesity gives the children the support they so desperately need,” says Dr. Dhuper. “It becomes a family project.”

The excitement that this program has generated within the community is apparent by the number of enrollees awaiting the beginning of the next session. For additional information on the Live-Light, Live-Right Program, call 718-240-8325.

Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center is located at One Brookdale Plaza.

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