MORGANTOWN , W.Va.Youth from across the state will gather in Morgantown on Sunday to walk, jump, cook, talk and compete, as part of a two-week residency camp that helps overweight adolescents and their parents learn healthy lifestyle habits.


Camp NEW You , an innovative year-long program, kicks off with this visit to the West Virginia University campus.


Camp NEW You, where NEW stands for nutrition, exercise, and weight management, is a unique program designed to help youth and their parents identify and practice lifestyle changes that will help in reducing unhealthy body weight through increased physical activity and proper nutrition.


One notable feature of the camp is the involvement of parents throughout the process. This years program will include 29 participants.


The primary goals of the program are to help families engage in regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in various forms, to replace sedentary hobbies with more active ones, and to promote healthy decision making during meals. Parent education and involvement are also signature features of the program,said Dr. Sean Bulger, assistant professor with the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences , a co-sponsor of the program.


After attending for a few days with their child during the two-week summer camp, parents join their children for three more fun-filled weekends throughout the year. Each session is packed with activities and simple techniques for reaching healthy lifestyle goals. Personal lifestyle coaching occurs during the entire year through email, telephone and social networking Web sites.


Because Camp NEW You is a collaboration between WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, WVU School of Medicines CARDIAC Project, WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Forestryand Consumer Sciences and WVU Extension Service, campers and their families have access to experts in the fields of exercise physiology, medicine, physical education, nutrition and behavioral medicine. Concord University is also involved with the program.


Throughout the year-long program a variety of experts participate in program planning, delivery and assessment,Bulger said.This high degree of interdisciplinary collaboration helps to set our program apart.


Because the camp targets high risk children, many health insurance providers such as PEIA , Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Plan, and WV CHIP have approved most program costs. To participate, youth must be between 11-14 years of age and have a body mass index greater than the 85th percentile.


At least one parent or guardian must commit to attend. For more information or to sign up for news, go to www.campnewyou.org or call 304-293-0845.