Last year, Stonyfield provided a grant to help National Junior Tennis and Learning of Trenton (NJTLT) fund a family-focused healthy living program called Serving Up Health. Here’s a little bit about the program, and how it is working to change Trenton’s status as the heaviest city in New Jersey.
By Rob Howland, Development Director, NJTLT
There is ample data confirming the trend toward obesity, both nationwide and at the state level in New Jersey. Based on reports about the health consequences of obesity (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, shortened life spans), projections suggest that many parents may outlive their children if significant changes aren’t made.
In 2010, Rutgers University in NJ conducted studies on the height, weight and BMI levels of NJ grade school students. The results of these studies confirmed serious weight issues and characterized Trenton as the “heaviest” NJ city with approximately 1 in 2 Trenton children in every age category overweight or obese.
The NJTLT has led the way in creating an innovative and collaborative program called Serving Up Health (SUH) to address the problem. SUH is a 12-week program. 12 families – about 40 individuals – meet three nights a week for two hours each session. Each evening during the program has a different focus, focusing on things like:
- fitness through fun exercises with personal trainers
- cardio/game based tennis instruction
- nutrition education
- healthy cooking instruction
- peer group counseling with a professional facilitator
To make the program a family affair, SUH requires all family members (adults & siblings) to participate. The family works together to improve their health and make healthier lifestyle choices. Along with tennis, fitness, and nutrition sessions, participants have numerous special opportunities, including Tai Chi, tennis, personal training sessions, and cooking demos with chefs from local restaurants and culinary schools. There are also field trips to Whole Foods and a local vegetable farm.
Capital Health, a regional medical system, provides their nursing staff for pre and post biometric medical testing like BMI, heart rate, respirations, body fat % and pulse. By winning the grant, all SUH participants in the latest session also received free yogurt vouchers from Stonyfield.
Without Stonyfield’s generous $5,000 grant, NJTLT would not have been able to hold the latest 12-week SUH session. NJTLT and our SUH participants are very grateful for Stonyfield’s generous support.
To learn more about the National Junior Tennis & Learning of Trenton, please visit www.njtloftrenton.org or call 609-341-1698.