Release Date: 12-07-2006 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, December 7, 2006)… “I really miss going. I learned so much about portion control and exercise!” That’s how Gertrude Schleiker of Tafton describes her 12-weeks in the Well Weighs for Living Family program. The program, designed to address overweight/obesity issues in the community, was developed by Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH), the Wayne County YMCA and Northeast Counseling.
Schleiker’s class of 51 people was the last to be funded under a three-year, $210,000 grant from the Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of NEPA, but organizers hope to continue Well Weighs with other monies.
Initially Well Weighs was offered to specific groups, such as students, at no cost. Schleiker’s class was the first time the program was offered to the community at large for a nominal fee of $100. Was it worth it? 95% who answered a questionnaire found it beneficial to themselves or their families.
“We believe this program has been very successful,” said Carol Kneier, RD, MS, CDE/WMH Nutrition Services and Coordinator for the Well Weighs program. “Our participants say the combination of nutrition information, exercise and behavioral health tips gave them the tools they needed for healthy lifestyle changes.”
Since it began in 2004, the program has helped 81 families in Wayne and Pike Counties embrace a healthy lifestyle. “It really made me more aware of everything I eat and do,” Schleiker continued. She and her husband Neil both took part in the program. “I would do it again. It was wonderful.”
Each class included information on topics such as reading labels for nutrition value, “cardio” and other exercises, and behavioral health tips. Thirty-two adults took part in a blood draw at the conclusion of the program. For Schleiker’s class, an overall weight loss of 162 pounds for all the adults—or an average of five pounds per adult—was recorded, along with a combined blood pressure decline of 31%.
The program, worth an estimated $1070, included a three-month family membership plan at the Wayne County YMCA.
Kneier said members of the Well Weighs team will present parts of the program to students and families enrolled in after-school programs in the Wayne Highlands School District, funded through a 21st Century grant.
“We are looking to offer it to the community at large again,” Kneier added. “We’ve had waiting lists for this program in the past, and we really feel the need is there. Stay tuned!”
Photo Caption: The Well Weighs for Living Family program graduated its last grant-funded class but organizers hope