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Community 'steps up' to fight obesity

Date: 9/28/2010

Sept. 29, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD -- Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States as 32 percent of children battle the life-threatening disease, according to government statistics. The YMCA of Greater Westfield is doing its part to lower that statistic during Stepping Up and Stepping Out Week, Oct. 2 to 9.

The Y is challenging children, their families and the public at large to add an another 2,000 steps -- or equivalent activity -- to each day, while also choosing to eat 100 fewer calories every 24 hours. The 1.5-mile walk through Stanley Park on Oct. 2 will kick off the week's activities under the leadership of YMCA Executive Director Gregg Thompson.

"We've got to get people moving. We should step up and step out to help our children," Charlene Call, member retention and wellness director for the YMCA, said.

A similar walk last year generated 103 participants, inspiring Call to create Stepping Up and Stepping Out Week this year. "I could not quit [on this kind of walk] because of the impact that it had [on the community]," Call said.

Participants are also asked to keep track of their steps throughout the week in order to have a baseline to beat next year.

For more information or to register for the walk at Stanley Park, contact Call at 568-8631, ext. 305. Walkers must be at the park by 10 a.m.

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