Press Releases


Contact: Linda J. Johnson
WCA Hospital, Public Relations Department
(716) 664-8614


Kerry Mihalko, WCA Hospital Registered Dietitian and Director of Food Service, helps her Son, AJ - a Sinclairville Elementary Student, select a healthy snack from the Healthy Snack Vending Machine at WCA Hospital.

Jamestown, New York (Friday, January 18, 2008)— WCA Hospital Wellness and Nutrition Services team up to offer the community “Way To Go Kids! Program - a unique approach to helping kids build lifelong healthy attitudes about food and fitness. The program is an 8-week curriculum of fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle changes.

Classes will be held at Jones Memorial Health Center, 51 Glasgow Avenue, Jamestown, New York.  To register your child, contact WCA Hospital Nutrition Services at (716) 664-8436. Classes are limited to 10 – 15 children.

The pediatric weight management program is designed for children ages 9-14.  The program consists of eight 2-hour group sessions that focus on healthy eating and physical activity; three “parent only” group sessions; and follow-up appointments with a registered dietitian.  The program focuses on family behavior changes and is packed with fun, activity and support.

According to national statistics, the number of overweight children is rapidly increasing.  If not slowed, this trend will result in increased healthcare costs and more chronic disease that occurs earlier in life. Since 1980 national rates of overweight have doubled for preschool and primary school children and tripled for adolescents.  As a result, more obesity related chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, is being seen in children.

The 8-week, two hour sessions Include: eight nutrition classes for parents and kids; exercise for fitness and fun; kids in the kitchen; recipes, menus, healthy snacks; sessions for “parents Only”, and much, much more.

Kids come in all shapes and sizes, as do adults. A child's shape is determined by his parents, but the child’s size is determined by the amount and kinds of food the child consumes each day. “The emphasis in this program is to stop the weight gain while maintaining normal growth and development,” said says Kerry Mihalko, Registered Dietitian, and WCA Hospital Director of Food Service.

A registered dietitian for over 15 years, Kerry says, “Growing kids should not diet, but often consume more calories than the body needs. When indicated, weight loss in children should occur slowly. Our program takes a balanced approach to eating. The focus is balancing calories for growth while reducing fat and sugar and increasing physical activity each day.”

Each session is taught by an experienced hospital registered dietitian, certified recreational therapist, and a registered nurse.

“Snacking, eating away from home, and fast foods are important issues to kids,” says Mihalko.  “Our program looks at the whole problem including self-esteem, inactivity, attitudes, and family issues. Your child will be motivated to get moving and take a healthier path for a happier life.”

Help your child get his/her weight under control now.  You’ll both be glad you did. A physician referral is required.  Cost of the program is $160.  Some insurance carriers cover cost of the program.


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