Part 2: Childhood Obesity: A Deadly Disease
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) One in four children in Idaho are obese.
Serious health risks are associated with the disease including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.
In Part Two of Childhood Obesity: A Deadly Disease, we take a look at how one local boy went from obese to fit in less than a year thanks to a new program.
Last year, at the age of ten, Aaron Klimes was headed down a dangerous path.
"About a year ago our doctor had come to us and said that Aaron was overweight and she had taken some blood tests and he had high cholesterol," said Jacque Klimes, Aaron’s mom.
That's when Jacque decided it was time to make a change.
She enrolled Aaron in the YEAH Program at St. Luke's Magic Valley.
"When we started Aaron weighed 143 pounds and he was quite the chubby little kid, we call him chunky monkey. He's now down to 101 pounds," said Jacque.
YEAH stands for Youth Engage in Activities for Health. It's not just a weight loss program, it's about making a lifestyle change.
"We try not to focus as much on losing weight, or just how many numbers you're giving in at the end of the program. But, really what are you doing every day and every week to make healthy changes in your diet,” said Melissa Sleight, Registered Dietician, St. Luke’s Magic Valley.
As a result of the program Aaron has not only changed physically...
"We're doing more things. He's in Jiu Jitsu twice a week and we do swimming and walking," said Jacque.
But, mentally as well.
"His self confidence is like yeah, I want to do that, I want to try this and he gets out there and he does it," said Jacque.
That's a big change from the Aaron who mostly stayed indoors just a year ago.
"I usually watched T.V. and played on the computer. That's all I used to do,” said Aaron Klimes.
He's gone from eating chips and candy bars to healthier snacks.
"My favorite fruits are oranges, bananas and pineapples,” said Aaron.
But, Aaron isn't the only one benefiting from the program.
"It's been good for me. I've lost fifty pounds and ten inches," said Jacque.
The Klimes' have turned good health into a family affair.
St. Luke's Magic Valley is always looking for new participants for their YEAH program.
There's a $50 enrollment fee, but Blue Cross Blue Shield offers scholarships for those who need help.
Contact the hospital for more information.