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October 13, 2015

Project brings scientifically proven physical activity and nutrition education to 1,200 children in an area where youth overweight and obesity are 39% higher than the rest of the country.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit today announced that it will collaborate with the CATCH Global Foundation to bring evidence-based CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) programming to all 35 YMCA Afterschool sites in Metro Detroit. The project is part of a Michigan statewide effort involving the State Alliance of Michigan YMCAs and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and made possible through generous support from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The CATCH Kids Club (CKC) training will officially kick off in Detroit on October 27.

CATCH is considered the most cost-effective means of preventing childhood obesity, according to independent research and third-party evaluation. Developed at universities over the past 25 years, CATCH is now being used by more than 10,000 sites worldwide to combat obesity and improve child health.

“We’re so excited to implement CATCH in all Detroit YMCAs; it will be transformative to the quality of life for thousands of kids living in our city,” said Lisa Senac, YMCA Senior Director of Education and Life Skills. “Currently, Detroit has a 39 percent higher proportion of overweight and obese children than the rest of the country, and this best-in-class program will deliver a much-needed toolkit as we push for greater physical activity and better nutrition.”

CATCH Kids Club (CKC) is already being used in other YMCAs and schools throughout Michigan. Michigan is one of 32 states now implementing CKC programs within their YMCA network. CKC is a physical activity and nutrition education program designed specifically for elementary and middle school aged children (grades K – 8), in either an after-school or summer setting and is aligned with Health Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) guidelines. Proven outcomes of CKC include increases in time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, increases in food and vegetable intake, decreases in junk food and soda consumption, and decreases in TV watching and other screen time.

The project will serve approximately 1,200 children in grades K-5 attending afterschool and summer programs at 35 sites, with the goal of improving physical activity outside of normal school hours. Today, more than 50 percent of children in Detroit live in poverty, and as a result, are at increased risk of obesity. Fortunately, most YMCA programs take place at public schools, eliminating barriers to transportation while enabling even greater access to CATCH’s health education programming.

“Detroit is a community in revival thanks to a vision of a sustainable future and tireless efforts like this one. We are very pleased to help implement CATCH as one of the building blocks in this reconstruction,” said Duncan Van Dusen, Executive Director of CATCH Global Foundation. “We look forward to helping the children of Detroit improve not only their overall health and physical activity, but also to help build self-confidence and core skill sets that can be used for the rest of their lives.”

The CATCH training with city and YMCA leadership will kick-off on October 27, followed by a media open house and luncheon. For more information or to attend, please contact [email protected].

For a complete press release including contact info, please download our PDF.