The Children’s Center Recognizes National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

In recognition of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, The Children’s Center is holding a countywide CATCH Early Childhood Kick-Off on Friday, September 21, 2012.  

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Early Childhood (EC) is a preschool evidence-based healthy nutrition and physical activity program, developed by the University of Texas. This program directly addresses the childhood obesity epidemic by providing an environment where physical activity, health education, gardening and healthy eating behaviors are valued and taught. It employs a holistic approach to child health by targeting multiple aspects of the preschool community, involving teachers, children and parents in a wide range of health-promoting activities. While playing and having fun, 3- to 5-year-old children are building a solid foundation for healthy living. The CATCH EC kick-off will include approximately 400 children throughout Brevard County, demonstrating a parachute physical activity component of the CATCH Early Childhood program.  

“The growing rate of childhood obesity in our country is alarming,” said Lori Duester, manager of The Children’s Center. “National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and CATCH Early Childhood recognizes the serious threat obesity poses to the health of America’s children and the importance of decreasing its prevalence, not only in Brevard County, but across the United States.”  

The Children’s Center, an affiliate of Parrish Medical Center, receives funding and partners with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation through its Embrace a Healthy Florida initiative. An evidence-based, multisector, community-based initiative located across Florida, the Embrace initiative is designed to use community engagement to make long-term changes in childhood and family health. The Children’s Center received Embrace funding in March 2012 to address and prevent childhood obesity in the community.  

“We are proud to recognize National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month with The Children’s Center,” said Susan Towler, vice president of the BCBSF Foundation. “It calls attention to this national epidemic and The Children’s Center’s work to build a healthier future for Brevard County children.”  

If you are an early childhood program director or teacher and interested in promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors in young children, contact Kathy Simonsen at 321-264-0855 or to learn more about how to bring the CATCH Early Childhood program to your school.  

About The Children’s Center
The Children's Center, an affiliate of Parrish Medical Center, offers a variety of learning and early childhood development programs for area children. The Children’s Center consists of six local partner agencies working together to meet the needs of children. The Center annually serves nearly 2,000 children and their families. Visit The Children's Center online at  

About the BCBSF Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation (BCBSF Foundation) is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan for Floridians. The BCBSF Foundation and its parent, Florida Blue, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information about the BCBSF Foundation, please visit For more information about Embrace a Healthy Florida, visit

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