CATCH Kids to offer weight programs aimed at youngsters

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

CATCH Kids will begin offering a year-long weight management clinic at its community clinics this week.
“It’s focused on children 6 to 15 years old, but we will take anyone,” said Valerie Long, executive director of the nonprofit agency that provides community and school-based clinics that are open to all children under age 18, free of charge.
The agency hopes the programs can attack the epidemic of childhood obesity by helping children and parents understand the causes, complications and long-term solutions to the problem.
“It takes all of us doing what we can,” Long said. “Maybe we’ll be able to make a difference.”
CATCH Kids medical clinics are staffed by volunteer physicians and nurses who see children who need medical care. A $47,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant will cover the costs of the professionals who will lead the weekly weight management programs, Long said.
CATCH Kids will be screening for the clinic based on the age-adjusted body mass index for referrals to the clinic. Children and their parents will learn about the medical complications from obesity. They’ll also learn about good nutrition, behavior modification and exercise during the programs, which will last 45 minutes to an hour.
The weight management programs will be offered on Mondays at the North Green Street clinic in Tupelo and at the Pontotoc clinic.
On Tuesdays, it will be offered at the Haven Acres Clinic in Tupelo. On Thursdays, it will be offered at the Okolona clinic.