Georgia program helps kids, parents get healthier together

- Kathryn Grubbs feels like a new kid these days, thanks to a program that helped her take charge of her health at the tender age of 11.

"It helped me a lot,” Grubbs says.

After Kathryn's father had a heart attack in 2009, she went in for some blood work.

“Everything was elevated,” says Kathryn’s mom Kim Grubbs. “Her cholesterol, her triglycerides, everything."

To Kathryn's mom the checkup was a wakeup call.

"Just knowing that her dad had a heart attack, her grandfather died of a massive heart attack, I just didn't want to see my child go down that path,” she says.

Kathryn's pediatrician referred the family to a new program through Tanner Health System.  It’s called Kids and Fitness.

"We were finding that kids and their families didn't really know where to go if they were struggling with their weight,” says registered dietitian Christina Schoerner, the program director.  “And pediatricians really didn't have anywhere to send them."

Realizing children mimic what they see their parents doing, "Kids and Fitness" got parents like Kim involved.

"You get to be yourself there. It's like a little family,” says Kathryn.

Mother and daughter took classes together, learning how to make sense of food labels, mastering portion size and how to "eat the rainbow," the more colorful the fruits and veggies, the better.

And Kathryn likes the way "Kids and Fitness" made her feel.

"They cared a lot, instead of just teaching,” she says. “They actually cared and made sure everything was good."

And things are good these days.  Kathryn's "unhealthy" cholesterol levels are way down.   And she and her mom are both more active.  Finally, they say, they're on the right path.

Kathryn says she’s sharing her story because she wants other kids to know they can get healthier.

“Because I'm not the only one,” Grubbs says. “There are a lot of people out there. And sometimes they struggle."

For more information on Get Healthy, Live Well's Kids n Fitness program click here

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