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By Daniel Ritz

Forty-one students who completed the YMCA’s “Earn a Bike” program at Richard Henry Dana Elementary School received new bikes, helmets and locks on Dec. 8 in a special event celebrating their successful completion of the program. The program aimed to increase the amount of physical activity performed by students, and improve the nutritional content of their diets and the diets of their families in order to lower the rate of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in the community.

Each program, which had 20-40 students in it, met four times a week to increase physical fitness through exercise and healthy eating education. To continue the healthy habits at home, parents were required to participate by attending two nutrition classes to increase their awareness of family health. Success was measured by the students’ fitness levels and knowledge of healthy eating upon the conclusion of the eight-week program.

The “Earn a Bike” program is designed to increase the amount of physical activity performed by elementary school-aged children and improve nutritional content of their diets in order to lower the rate of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in the community.

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