Louisville chosen for pilot child obesity program at local YMCAs - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville chosen for pilot child obesity program at local YMCAs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Called an epidemic by local doctors, one in every three kids in Kentucky are considered overweight or obese. 

But in Louisville, there hasn't been a program that doctors could recommend to help families tackle a major lifestyle overhaul.

That is until now.  

A brand new pilot program is launching at Louisville area YMCAs. It's targeted toward kids like Antoinette Doyle, who is carrying excess weight and has developed type two diabetes.

She's only in the 7th grade. 

Dealing with high blood pressure and other complications, she was determined to make a change. 

So Antoinette joined her mother for a little exercise at Louisville's downtown YMCA.

"I just want to get her healthy, and I want to lead by example," Elisa Doyle said. "Because I'm mom."

The Doyles enrolled in the YMCA's new program.

For one year, families participate in sessions tackling exercise and healthy eating. 

Parents must accompany their child, because its just as much about them as it is their kids. 

"It teaches the parent what to buy at the grocery store, it teaches the parent what to cook," said Steve Tarver, CEO of Greater Louisville YMCA.

University of Louisville  Pediatric Endocrinologist Suzanne Kingrey is involved because she sees the front lines of the childhood obesity epidemic every day. 

"Ten years ago, type 2 diabetes was unheard of," Kingrey said. "We never saw a patient.

"Now we're seeing more and more children as young as 7 and 8."

Sessions are held in small groups, hoping that kids ages 7-13 can connect with others dealing with the same struggles.

"(I want) to get healthier and for both of us to lose a little bit of weight," Antoinette said.

The cost of the program is based on a family's household income.

For the Doyles, they know its an offering they can't afford not to take.  

"I'm so ready," Elisa Doyle said.

The YMCA is holding informational sessions to determine eligibility for the program and explain the benefits at the following branches:

Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Floyd County Family YMCA, 33 State Street, New Albany

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6 – 7:30 p.m. 

Downtown YMCA Association Office, 545 S. Second Street

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Chestnut Street Family YMCA, 930 W. Chestnut Street

Thursday, Feb. 25, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Floyd County Family YMCA, 33 State Street, New Albany

Friday, Feb. 26, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Oldham County YMCA, 20 Quality Place, Buckner

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