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Happy Summer Everyone!

We hope you're having a healthy, safe and fun summer—keep enjoying the summer days while you can and remember to continue slathering on the sunscreen!

Each year, we choose to dedicate one of our monthly newsletters to the sensitive topic of childhood obesity. As you will read this month, the unfortunate news is that the overall, significant progress to decreasing the percentage of obese children has yet to be made. The good news is that education, awareness and lifestyle programs for children are more prevalent than ever.

Whether this is a topic that directly relates to you or not, please educate yourself so that you can direct others to finding resources, if you have the opportunity to offer help or advice. Fitness isn't about being skinny; it is about being physically and emotionally sound. If your road to a fit lifestyle included losing significant amounts of weight, perhaps your story could help inspire someone else. Education, prevention and sometimes intervention can lead to a healthier life!

Free Pilates Reformer session to anyone new to Reformer. See the front desk or contact Nancy Babe for details.

As always, let us know how we are doing and if there is anything our team can do to make your summer more enjoyable!

Carrie Hoops

The Latest News on the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

In the past year, two long-term studies on the causes, cure and cost of childhood obesity have published preliminary results. The challenge is that the information from these independent studies are reporting conflicting information, making it difficult to decipher if one study is more accurate over another, or if testing criteria and reporting methods are simply too varied to compare "apples to apples."

The biggest difference between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study to that of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is the percentage at which the rate of childhood obesity is dropping, especially in preschool-aged children. Reports that there has been significant progress made, in lowering the rates of childhood obesity, may have been premature. After both studies were further examined, researchers agreed that more data is needed. At the end of the day, they most agreed upon percentage, which shows that 17 percent of all children meet the qualifications for being obese.

However, logically it makes sense that behavior can be changed more quickly when addressed at a young age. Early intervention is tough, particularly given the fact that most obese children have overweight or obese parents. Asking parents, who have likely struggled with weight their entire lives, to monitor and change the way they feed their young child is a tough hill to climb. While the willingness to try has been present among study participants, the results vary based on how actively the parent is working on their own weight loss. Despite the varying results, it is encouraging to see that progress can be made, especially when addressed at a young age.

What do the studies agree on?
Setting aside the percentage of children who are at risk for obesity, the alarming news is that the obese children and adults are getting heavier. The heaviest children are the ones who will end up with greater health issues as adults. Experts agree that all obese children are at risk for obesity and health consequences as adults. Severely obese children are also at risk for immediate problems, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels and sleep apnea.

Lee Michael Kaplan, a gastroenterologist who directs an obesity treatment program at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the trend toward higher weights among those who are obese has been seen in both children and adults in previous studies.

"These children are really on track to become the sickest adults," Robinson said in a USA Today article, published in April of this year. "I think it's real," he said. "People are getting heavier and heavier. The problem is not going away."

The cost of childhood obesity
There is also a very real financial cost to obesity—in addition to the emotional toll obese children pay by being bullied, teased and less able to be as active as their classmates and friends.

Medical experts agree the cost of medical care for obese children is significantly higher. According to the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the lifetime cost of medical care for an obese child is $19,000 more than the cost of care for a child of healthy weight.

Other trending news...
• In the UK, Action on Sugar, a healthy lifestyles campaign group, is calling for new rules to be introduced regarding the consumption of sugar, as well as for marketing so-called junk food products to young people. This grassroots team has published a seven-point plan—detailing what kind of action it would like the government to take in relation to this matter—in an attempt to lower obesity levels and improve the wellbeing of the nation's children.

According to an article published on, Public Health Nutritionist for Action on Sugar Katharine Jenner said: "The underlying cause of obesity in children is the processed food and drink environment—calling it 'personal responsibility' just doesn't wash any more."

In the article, she also said that taking action and using the "evidence-based tools at our disposal, including taxation, reformulation, limiting the availability of unhealthy food at checkouts and to stop allowing the marketing of unhealthy foods to children."

• According to a recent study, taking antidepressants during pregnancy can increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from McMaster University in Canada found a correlation between the use of the medication fluoxetine during pregnancy and an increased risk of obesity and diabetes in children. Currently, up to 20 percent of woman in the United States and approximately 7 percent of Canadian women are prescribed an antidepressant during pregnancy.

"Obesity and Type 2 diabetes in children are on the rise and there is the argument that it is related to lifestyle and availability of high-calorie foods and reduced physical activity, but our study has found that maternal antidepressant use may also be a contributing factor to the obesity and diabetes epidemic," Alison Holloway, the study's senior investigator and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University, said on July 8 in a news release.

• Ending on a high note, education and awareness of childhood obesity is helping. More and more programs are being developed to not only study the obese child, but to interact and intervene in an effort to change the path of lifelong obesity. A quick Google search for programs can help you down a different path with your own child, if necessary, or perhaps offer a way to educate at-risk children and families you may wish to help.

Exercise Of The Month: The Reverse Lunge with Lateral Shoulder Raise with Maggie Hernandez

1. Start in a standing position with a pair of 5-8 pound dumbbells at your side.

2. Lift your left or right foot off the floor and step backward. Bend your back knee to form a 90-degree angle between your thigh and calf, while lowering your knee toward the floor. At the same time raise the dumbbells laterally to shoulder height with a slight bend in your elbows. Arms should be parallel with the ground.

3. Push yourself upward with your thigh muscles and return back to the starting position while lowering arms down to sides. Repeat exercise on the same leg for 1-3 sets, 12-15 reps.

The primary muscles affected are the quadriceps in the front of your thigh, gluteus maximus in your buttocks, adductor magnus in your inner thigh and soleus in your calf. The hamstrings in the back of your thigh, and gastrocnemius in your calf function as dynamic stabilizers. In addition many core muscles in your abdomen and your back function to stabilize your upper body throughout the movement.

The dumbbell lateral raise enhances your physique by creating size contrasts between your shoulders, waist and hips. The exercise has the same effect as wearing shoulder pads on a blouse or jacket. By making your shoulders appear wider, your waist and hips appear slimmer. The dumbbell lateral raise also works the muscles that support and stabilize your shoulders.

Employee Spotlight: Maggie Hernandez, Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT)

Maggie found a strong passion for fitness and nutrition at an early age. Growing up in Nebraska, she was heavily involved in sports. Her love of sports took her to the University of Nebraska at Kearney for Track & Field where she received her bachelor's degree in Exercise Science Fitness and Wellness. Maggie received her personal training certification through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM-CPT) and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Public Health. As a trainer, Maggie finds educating the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. Whether a client is looking for weight loss, rehabilitation training, fitness competitions or road races, Maggie is committed to each of her clients on an individual basis. Maggie's clients find results by having her as a fun, passionate, and motivating trainer.

You can contact Maggie at

Special Spotlight: Karla Leriger - Beat Breast Cancer Mud Volleyball Tournament

I have been involved with helping with the tournament and other funds for Pink Bandana since the beginning. We have officially become a nonprofit organization and I sit on the board of directors for the organization. Pink Bandana is solely volunteer work for all board and committee members. It has been one of the greatest things I have ever been a part of! It means so much to me, to be helping young woman battling the same things I did years ago! To be on the other side has been so rewarding and to be making an impact and getting awareness out there is hard for me to put in words how much it means to me. But I am so grateful for organizations like this and for the other amazing people that volunteer their time to make such a difference.

This year, Karla Leriger participated in the Pink Bandana Beat Breast Cancer Mud Volleyball Tournament on July 12 and 13.

You can go to for more information.

Upcoming Events

Fitness Education Program
Learn how to move better, get stronger and keep yourself fit for life.

• Six week multi-topic fitness course
• Twice a week - one-on-one sessions - $456
• 30-45 minutes of multiple topics and a workout you can do on your own

After competing the course you should know how to use everything in the fitness center appropriate to your fitness level. You will walk away better prepared to keep yourself fit for your entire life. You will have 12 different workouts and the knowledge to create many more yourself.

To sign up or to get more information contact Sam Schrader at

Resistance Band Small Group
Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 5:30pm
Starting July 29th
30 minute sessions starting at $12.50/session

*Improve flexibility and joint mobility
*Develop long, lean and strong muscles
*Boost metabolism
*Increase endurance

Limited spots available so sign up today! To sign up or for more information contact Maggie Hernandez at

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31st & Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68131
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