Sudbury

Sudbury hospital program aims to help overweight children

The BALANCE program at Health Sciences North teaches children and their families about healthy lifestyles.
In an effort to help families deal with overweight children, a 12-week program at Health Sciences North teaches children and their families about healthy lifestyles. (CBC)

A program in Sudbury that helps overweight children to be healthy is looking for participants.

The BALANCE program at Health Sciences North teaches children and their families about healthy lifestyles. It also gives them access to a counsellor or social worker.

Angie Wiwczor helps run the BALANCE program at Health Sciences North. She says the stigma around being overweight could be preventing some families from enrolling their children. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)
Nurse practitioner Angie Wiwczor helps run the program. She said each 12-week session can accommodate 60 children, but last time around only 20 children registered.

"I think there's a fear. I don't think families want to be brought into the spotlight. I don't think they want to necessarily focus on the issue at hand," Wiwczor said.

After families confront that fear and enrol in the program, the feedback has been positive, Wiwczor said.

"We have parents come up to us, probably on a weekly basis saying, 'Oh my God, if it wasn't for this program, he wouldn't be doing this'."

Wiwczor said she hopes the word will spread that the program offers children a safe environment to develop healthy habits.

The next session starts in January. Click here for more information about the program.

Angie Wiwczor talked about the program with CBC Radio Morning North host Markus Schwabe:

There are many overweight children in the north, but few are enrolling in a Sudbury program about healthy lifestyles. It teaches healthy habits to overweight kids and is looking for participants. We heard more from Angie Wiwczor who helps run the program. 9:43

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