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New area program hopes to help children lose weight

New area program hopes to help children lose weight

February 3rd, 2018 by News Tribune in Local News

Some Medicaid-eligible children and their families in Mid-Missouri may join a new program aimed at helping them reach and maintain healthy weight together.

UnitedHealthcare, Hy-Vee, Eastside Community Center and Lighthouse Preparatory Academy are partnering to bring a national childhood wellness program called Join for Me to Boone, Callaway and Cole counties.

The UnitedHealthcare program is a community-based childhood weight-management and lifestyle-intervention program.

Missouri Medicaid members who use UnitedHealthcare as their Medicaid provider are eligible to participate. The program is intended for children ages 6-17 and their families.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states nearly one in five children in the United States is obese. Missouri ranks as the 17th-most obese state, according to WebMD. It ranks as the 11th unhealthiest state, according to 2017 America's Health Rankings.

Join for Me focuses on creating a healthier home environment and how implementing change to a family's routines can be simple and healthy. The program engages children and teenagers who struggle with extra weight — and their parents and other family members — in a series of group sessions to achieve healthier weight. The program emphasizes support and a balanced approach.

Classes begin 3:30 p.m., Monday at Lighthouse Preparatory Academy, 216 El Mercado Plaza in Jefferson City. Virtual sessions are available. Other classes are scheduled for 4 and 5 p.m., Wednesday and 4 and 6 p.m. Thursday.

For information email join4me@uhc.com or call 866-292-0359.