Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Teen Health Ambassadors

June 19, 2013

Martha Jefferson Hospital is launching a new program to keep teens in the City of Charlottesville healthy. It focuses on eating the right foods and exercising. CBS's Stephanie Satchell has more on the Teen Health Ambassadors program in our Martha Jefferson Healthwise report.

Obesity rates in teens are steadily climbing in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity in adolescents has tripled in the past 30 years.

Now, Martha Jefferson Hospital is starting a new program this summer to combat that by teaching teens ages 13-18 in Charlottesville about making healthy choices.

"The Teen Health Ambassadors program is about educating teens on the importance of good nutrition and physical activity to either become healthier or maintain good health," said Jacklene Martin, Starr Hill Health Center.

Over the two day course held at the Starr Hill Health Center, they'll try yoga, eat a healthy breakfast prepared by dieticians and take a trip to a local grocery store to learn about food labels.

"They'll learn about fats, carbohydrates and how they interact in the body," said Martin.

Once they've completed the program, they will then choose a topic that they're most interested in and either as an individual project or group project prepare something that they can share.

The hope is that teens can learn all the tools they need to prevent obesity and pass that info along to younger kids and their peers.

The Teen Health Ambassadors program will be offered August 15th and 16th. For more information and to sign up, call Martha Jefferson Health connection at 434-3654-7009.

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