MORGANTOWN , W.Va.West Virginia University head football Coach Bill Stewart will help 19 young adults and their parents celebrate one year of healthy lifestyle habits at their upcoming graduation from Camp NEW You at WVU , an innovative program designed to help overweight children.


On June 12-14, Camp NEW You participants and their guests will attend a commencement ceremony and dinner featuring Coach Stewart as a keynote speaker at Milan Puskar Stadium. Sponsor representatives from Public Employees Insurance Agency, Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield, WV CHIP , The Health Plan, Milan Pharmaceuticals and the W.Va. Office of Healthy Lifestyles will join campers at the dinner.


Camp NEW You, which refers to nutrition, exercise, and weight management, is a joint effort between the WVU School of Medicine s Department of Pediatrics and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences .


The camps activities focus on healthy goal setting and decision making. Camp counselors emphasize the importance of parent participation in creating healthier home environments that provide opportunities for healthy eating and regular physical activity.


Camp NEW You focuses on the collaboration of children and parents,said Dr. Emily Murphy, an exercise physiologist at the WVU School of Medicine.Children are more likely to follow through with healthy lifestyle changes when their home environment reflects what theyre being taught at camp.


The kids attending this camp are at risk for chronic health conditions because their body mass index measurements are greater than the 85th percentile. These parents realized they needed help teaching their children new habits because sometimes their own knowledge in these areas is lacking.


Preliminary results show that the Camp NEW You approach is working. Of the original 23 campers, a significant reduction in body mass index has been achieved.


After attending camp with their children for a few days during a two-week summer camp, parents join children for three additional weekends throughout the year. Each session is packed with activities, simple techniques for reaching healthy lifestyle goals, and lifestyle coaching.


Because Camp NEW You is a collaboration between WVU College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences and WVU School of Medicine, campers and their families have access to high level experts in the fields of exercise physiology, medicine, nutrition and behavioral medicine.


Every camp weekend, we have a variety of professionals who participate in programming. Experts include registered dieticians, medical doctors, and behavioral specialists,Murphy said.Its an added benefit that the program involves such high level consultants.


Because the camp targets high risk children, many health insurance providers such as PEIA , Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield, and WV CHIP have approved most program costs. To participate, youth must be between 11-14 years old and have a body mass index greater than the 85th percentile. At least one parent or guardian must commit to attend also.


A limited number of spots are available for next years camp starting in the summer of 2010. Applications are currently available at www.campnewyou.org or by calling 304-293-0859.


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