Austin, TX – If you know what the Y’s three areas of focus are, it is easy to realize why we are addressing the childhood obesity epidemic in Texas. As a cause driven organization with a focus on Healthy Living, Youth Development and Social Responsibility, offering free programs like MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!) makes perfect sense. MEND is a family-focused childhood obesity intervention program for youth ages 7-13 and their parents. Here’s Saul’s story of how MEND has changed him and his family.
Saul now laughs, “Before I started MEND I was an indoor boy. Now I’m playing with my friends and getting exercise outdoors all the time. I didn’t even realize how much I was learning. It just felt like good fun. The games helped me get healthy, and that is the best part of my day.” Saul’s mom Elbia says, “The best part is that my kids and my family have learned how to eat in new, healthy ways. We’ve learned how to buy food, to exercise, to move and stay healthy. Those are the biggest benefits of the program. I love that Saul has taken charge of reading labels when we go shopping, closely checking the calories, sugars, fats – all the nutritional content we never paid attention to before. The biggest impact of this program has been on my two kids. They’ve improved their communication with people, and they’ve become focused on how food affects their quality of life. That is the greatest gift of MEND.”