January 17, 2013
From blood pressure screenings to nutrition classes, Martha Jefferson is opening a new center to help combat childhood obesity in the area.
The Jefferson City School Center is now home to the Starr Hill Health Center. This new center isn't a primary care office, but rather an outreach center.
Jacklene Martin is the Director of Community Outreach and says childhood obesity is a growing concern.
“A recent study conducted by the Community on Obesity Task Force showed that nearly 35 percent of 3rd graders and over 35 percent of 5th graders are either overweight or obese. So that makes our kids at higher risk for things like diabetes, heart disease even some types of cancer and other things.”
Martin says the goal is to encourage and support families with children to make healthy lifestyle choices, and they feel like the Jefferson City school center is a great place to start.
“The Jefferson School City Center allows us an opportunity to reconnect with the city, and it’s actually the city that we target for many of our community outreach programs.”
Outside of screenings and distributing literature, they're planning to offer a wide selection of health and nutrition classes.
The hope is that over time these efforts will help the childhood obesity numbers will drop.
The Starr Hill Health Center open house is Saturday from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Jefferson School City Center.