Fighting obesity among Region 8 children

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "My main goal is childhood obesity," said Whitney Lawshe an intern with NEA Baptist's Charitable Foundation-Center for Healthy Children.

The reason fighting obesity is Whitney's mission? "It's something I always had a problem with. When I was younger and stuff and just helping make the children aware and helping make the parents aware of what their kids should be eating and shouldn't be doing," said Whitney.

When she graduates in August from ASU she wants to help kids like 12-year-old Sydnee Mays for a living. "Before when I was growing up I was always overweight and this class is a real blessing for me," said Sydnee.

It's what Jennifer Martinez does in her classes at the Center for Healthy Children where she says teaching portion control is her main agenda, "You don't have to go back for seconds," said Jennifer.

Dieting is also discouraged in their classes, "You end up depriving yourself and you want to eat more and's having that well balanced eating all the time," said Jennifer.

While this passionate woman admits one of her three week classes won't work miracles she says health is a journey not a destination. She says at the Center for Healthy Kids they are just giving them the tools they will need along that path of life, "They can grow out of being overweight with those healthy habits," said Jennifer.

As for intern Whitney, she's chomping at the bit to graduate to teach kids like these, "These kids are amazing. They have all done such a great job. They are all hard working."


The second session of the NEA Baptist's Charitable Foundation's Center for Healthy Children starts July 11. They still have slots open in the three week program. It runs Monday-Friday, 8a.m.-11:30a.m. Eligible kids must be 8 to 12-years-old and have a BMI of 25 or higher

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