The West Chicago Public Library District is the recipient of a Community Health Benefit Grant from Cadence Health in support of its efforts to address factors leading to obesity, reducing obesity, and reducing the burden of obesity-related disease in the community. West Chicago was the only library to receive this grant, and the monies totalling over $3,200 will be used as part of the Library's "WeGo for Wellness" program series which begins March 2 and runs through May 25.
According to a recent report by the FORWARD initiative (Fighting Obesity Reaching healthy Weight Among Residents of DuPage), one in three children in DuPage County is overweight or obese. The YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County emphasizes that "our community environments need to reinforce health and well-being for families and individuals."
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The Library's "WeGo for Wellness" series will connect patrons to programs and activities designed to encourage healthy eating and lifestyle choices. The series includes walking groups, exercise programs, a healthy cooking series, as well as monthly wellness check-ins with a registered dietician.
A portion of the grant will also be used to support equipment purchases for the Library's weekly "Tottercize" and "Rhythms and Rhymes" programs for toddlers, preschoolers and their caregivers. These programs emphasize the importance of physical activity, starting at the earliest ages, as a means of obesity prevention an include yoga, exercise, balance, and gross motor activities.
"We take our role as a community leader very seriously in this effort to combat obesity and chronic disease, curb health care costs, and build healthy communities," says Administrative Librarian Melody E. Coleman. "We welcome this opportunity to partner with Cadence Health to continue engaging the community in addressing the obesity crisis."