"Being overweight isn't something that can be dealt with just through physical activity alone, by nutrition alone or by counseling alone," said Stephanie Kellam, program director for BOUNCE.Î¾ "You have to take it as a whole piece, and then you actually start working your way at it."
BOUNCE is Behavior Opportunities Uniting Nutrition Counseling and Exercise and targets minority middle school girls in a four-week summer camp.Î¾ BOUNCE grew from research that found minority populations were most at risk of becoming obese.Î¾ Kellam says this, coupled with the changes young people experience in middle school, helped them decide to target this population.Î¾ Girls and their parents participate in activities that are designed to change attitudes and behaviors.Î¾
"We do 21 different physical activities such as yoga, spinning and Latin dancing.Î¾ The Texans football team provides an obstacle course for a day.Î¾ Guests chefs visit to help prepare easy, healthy meals," Kellam said.Î¾ "Additionally, we know that these girls may have had challenges with peers, so we focus a segment on counseling in the form of journaling, scrapbooking, self-esteem classes."Î¾ Î¾
St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities and Neighborhood Centers are among the sponsors of BOUNCE.Î¾ Kellam says the program is a lot of fun, but she's seen it change lives.Î¾ Young girls who arrive shy and unsure finish the program confident, more secure and happy.Î¾
"BOUNCE works in terms of self esteem.Î¾ BOUNCE works in terms of physical activity levels.Î¾ You'll see changes in your waist, in your physical activity level, your overall appearance and most importantly, your overall happiness."Î¾
BOUNCE is part of what's happening at the University of Houston.Î¾ I'm Marisa Ramirez
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(More information about the program can be found on the BOUNCE website.)