Local News

August 3, 2013

F.L.A.S.H. program promotes healthier lifestyles for families

PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County Health Department is organizing its upcoming round of family-oriented workshops to promote healthy lifestyle choices.

The Families Learning About Staying Healthy (F.L.A.S.H.) program enjoyed an initial season earlier this year when four area families took part in the 11-week program that highlights healthy nutrition and regular activity to instill the importance of better decision-making in daily living.

The Health Department would like to improve on that success and is seeking up to 12 county families to participate in the upcoming program starting Wednesday, Oct. 2.

“The program is geared toward healthy lifestyles for families with children who are having weight problems,” said Suzanne LaBorde, a registered nurse for the Clinton County Health Department. “It’s not a weight-loss clinic or weight-loss competition.

“It’s all about establishing healthy behaviors, directing families to lifestyle patterns that will lead to healthier weight,” she added.

The sessions, which last about two hours each, are led by LaBorde, Health Department nutritionist Mandy Snay and an exercise specialist from the City of Plattsburgh’s Recreation Department.

Sessions will be broken into those three specialty areas as children and their parents focus on specific techniques they can use to understand the importance of health choices and put their newly gained knowledge to use in making sound decisions for their diet and activity plans.

“A multidisciplinary approach always seems to work better (in achieving life-changing skills),” Snay said. “We know that they do better when they have access to a variety of health professionals.

“And we know that families do better when they have support of other families, support of people who face the same challenges,” Snay added.

“A lot of families want to make healthy changes, but they don’t know how to get started,” LaBorde noted. “We give them the help in setting goals they can obtain.”

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