American Academy of Pediatrics Endorses Columbia Association’s Columbia YouthFit Program

The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia YouthFit program, which accentuates working together to create healthy families.

CAPeopleTree“We’re ecstatic,” said Shawni Paraska, CA’s director of community health sustainability. “We know we have a quality program, and now the American Academy of Pediatrics is recognizing that.”

The inaugural session of the eight-week program launched this past fall, focusing on families with children between the ages of 10 and 13 who receive a medical referral. Columbia YouthFit helps families become healthy through motivation, physical activity and healthy eating. In addition, a team of medical professionals work closely with all family members to create a family plan to improve their overall wellness.

“This endorsement is because the American Academy of Pediatrics recognize the value, quality and effectiveness of Columbia YouthFit,” Paraska said. “This program was designed by pediatricians, school counselors and child fitness experts. It incorporates the three major issues for why children are unhealthy, addressing nutrition, physical activity and behavioral modification lifestyle changes.”

The next eight-week session is set to begin on Jan. 23 and will be held on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Columbia YouthFit’s program includes fun and informative get-togethers; healthy lifestyle-coaching — both one-on-one with the kids, as well as with the whole family; physical activities for the children; discounts to community events and health-related businesses that partner with Columbia YouthFit; and full access for the entire family to CA’s facilities, programs and services.

Questions for parents and guardians to consider include whether their child spends too much time on his or her cell phone or iPod or in front of the television; feels self-conscious about his or her body weight; eats meals consisting of fast food, high calorie or fattening foods; has unsupervised time before or after school; or has a family with a busy schedule that does not include time for exercise. Those that do should ask their child’s doctor if Columbia YouthFit would be beneficial to the child, and then have the doctor complete this physician referral form and fax it to Columbia Association at 443-283-4247.

The program costs $250 for CA members and $350 for non-members. Fee covers the entire family. Register by calling 410-715-3128.

For more information, go to


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Filed under Columbia Association Press Releases, Columbia News, Health & Fitness, Kids, Teens

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