KidShape program encourages better health for Siouxland youth

KidShape program teaches kids about better health

Many health problems plague our community, and hospitals reach out to ask where more help can be given.

"First, we do a community health needs assessment, and one of the biggest issues that continues to come up is childhood obesity," said Jerry Hernandez, of Mercy Medical Center.

Jerry Hernandez, Community Outreach Coordinator with Mercy Medical Center, says this assessment is the first step of tackling this issue.

"In regards to our community health needs assessment, we either have to work alongside programs that already exist to combat the issue, or we come up with a program to combat the issue."

This is where the KidShape program came from. KidShape is a free, eight week program designed for children and their families to promote lifestyle changes.

"It's not a diet. It's not something that we want kids to necessarily lose a bunch of weight. We're looking for kids to make sustainable changes in their daily habits," said Corey Loffswold, physical activity coordinator of Kidshape.

Corey Loffswold works at Liberty Elementary in Sioux City, and is also a trained coordinator for this program. One night a week, children and their families meet and learn valuable lessons about physical activity, nutrition, and mental health.

Loffswold added, "We're hoping to figure out a way to help families make better healthy choices for themselves and for their kids."

This program has been successful across the country... and Loffswold has seen the success here in Siouxland.

"Through the course of those eight weeks, you see families grow closer together," said Loffswold.

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