Groups help fight childhood obesity in Milwaukee area communities

UnitedHealth Group recently awarded Neu-Life Community Development and Sixteenth Street Community Health Center with a $500 grant developing a program aimed at fighting childhood obesity in their communities.
The grants are part of the UnitedHealth HEROES program, a service-learning, health literacy initiative designed to encourage young people, working through educators and youth leaders, to create and implement local hands-on programs addressing childhood obesity. 
“With UnitedHealth HEROES, we are helping young people take action to improve their overall health and quality of life in a way that’s not only educational, but beneficial for their communities,” said Wendy Arnone, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin. “As people become more aware of health issues through health literacy and advocacy initiatives, they will make positive changes to live better lives.” said Wendy Arnone, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin. 
Neu-Life Community Development will use its grant to fund the “Youth Healthy Cooking Club.”  The Healthy Cooking Club will be responsible for planning and preparing the development center’s weekly Thursday night dinner for approximately 150 youth.  The Club will work together to research healthy food options, local growers and suppliers, collect recipes, prepare the meal and educate peers on making healthy food choices.
Sixteenth Street Community Health Center will use its grant to fund the Center’s youth yoga program.  In addition to yoga practice, the eight-week program for boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 18 includes weekly discussion about healthy food choices, and personal fitness.
“We believe these grants will empower teams of students to collaborate with teachers and community leaders to develop their own awareness of how to make their schools and neighborhoods healthier,” said Arnone. “In reviewing the grant applications, we were inspired by the creative ideas young people came up with to help fight obesity and encourage healthier living.”

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