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New Center Encourages Fitness, Healthy Eating at CHOP

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Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There was a dedication ceremony today at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for its “Healthy Weight Program,” a teaching kitchen and fitness center.

The center, located at 35th and Market Streets in West Philadelphia, is designed to teach at-risk children and their families about healthy eating and exercise.

Today, the children learned that “being on the move” can be fun!

“We have nutritionists who speak with the families, we have physical activity specialists who work with them increasing the amount of activity they do, and we also have a behavioral health team that works with them around some of the potential barriers for lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Patricia DeRusso, director of the Healthy Weight Program.

Nine-year-old Matthew Winarto of South Philadelphia enrolled in the program and says he’s thrilled with the results.

“I do a lot of running and swimming and cleaning up the house,” says Matthew.

Is that’s a lot of work?

(Matthew:) “Feels like it because I’m sweating a lot!”

Matthew’s father, Mario, was with his son every step of the way.

“I always try to support him. Most of that time I was doing that running with him around the park!” Mario explains.

Exercise consultants worked with Matthew and his family in a state-of-the-art gym and showed him there were Wii and XBox games he could play that would get him up and moving.

CHOP officials said that parents who would like more information about the program should first call their family pediatrician or health care provider to make sure this care is covered by insurance; having a referral makes it easier.

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