Local agencies prepare for obesity summit

Posted: Jan. 12, 2013 5:05 pm Updated: Jan. 26, 2013 7:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Carrie Kimber wants to do more than talk about obesity. She wants to move the Adams County community away from it.

The Get Up and Move! childhood obesity summit on Jan. 19 will stimulate conversation and heart rates.

Blessing Hospital, Quincy Medical Group, All Our Kids and the United Way have sponsored an afternoon dedicated to shedding pounds and light on the growing childhood obesity epidemic.

The seminar will feature jump roping, Zumba!, karate and healthy snack making intertwined with lectures on how family nutrition, the emotional impact of obesity, maintaining an active family lifestyle and the national perspective on childhood obesity.

"By giving the whole family the message, that's the best way to get the family to move together," Kimber said.

Dr. Rachel Yankey of Blessing Physician Services will address the importance of setting a positive, healthy example for children. The mother of three small children keeps her kids moving with her.

Even at their ripe age, she's walked them through the gym she works out in so they're familiar with how she stays moving.

"It's challenging for kids to be told what to do if they're not seeing an example," Yankey said.

Beth Troutt, Blessing Hospital Dietician, will speak on feasible dietary guidelines for a growing family. She'll address the problems of stress and convenience with food preparation as well as the need to teach children where food comes from and how its grown.

"The parents are the ones who are in charge of food preparation, and at the same time they're an example for kids too," Troutt said.

Lori Carlson, licensed clinical social workers and behavioral health therapist with Quincy Medical Group, will discussed the mental health implications on childhood obesity. She said children as young as five years old have engaged in negative stereotyping. She'll explain how obese children experience physical and emotional strains that diminish their overall quality of life.

The afternoon will conclude with a panel discussion designed to engage families in activating the community.

For Kimber and the local agencies involved this summit will serve as the first step to implementing local solutions to the growing national obesity problem.

The advocates for healthy living may not have the solution to the epidemic, but Kimber looks forward to creating avenues to progress.

"It's our generation's responsibility to the next," Kimber said.