UHA Health Fights Childhood Obesity As First Insurer in US to Partner With YMCA’s Healthy Weight and Your Child Program

Honolulu, HI (March 4, 2020) – UHA Health Insurance is the first insurer in the nation to offer the YMCA’s Healthy Weight and Your Child program at no cost to eligible members.

The YMCA of Honolulu introduced the Healthy Weight and Your Child program locally in 2017 in partnership with Hawai‘i Pacific Health. As a proven, evidence-based program, YMCA of the USA launched the program nationally in 2015 to help children between the ages of seven and 13 reach a healthy weight and live healthier lifestyles with the support of their families.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 25 percent of adults in Hawai‘i are considered obese. In addition, according to the latest National Survey of Children’s Health in 2018, 14 percent of local keiki between the ages of 10 and 17 were carrying excess weight.

The comprehensive four-month, 25-session program, valued at $1,596 per participant, creates a fun and safe environment to focus on behavior change, healthy eating and regular physical activity. Healthy Weight and Your Child engages entire families because the home environment is the most critical factor impacting a child’s weight.

“Scientific research has shown that childhood obesity is often a precursor of adult obesity and poor health,” explains Howard Lee, president and chief executive officer of UHA Health. “Because of the proven methods that this life-changing program incorporates, we believe that our youngest members and their families will develop healthier lifestyles with life-long benefits.”

To be eligible, UHA members between seven and 13 years of age must have a body mass index at the 95th percentile or more and receive approval from their doctor. While the parents/guardians and siblings of keiki participants are encouraged to attend the program sessions, at a minimum, at least one parent or guardian must be at each session.

For more information on the Healthy Weight and Your Child program, contact Christina Simmons, YMCA of Honolulu’s chronic disease programs director, at 808.541.5256 or visit uhahealth.com/healthychild.

About UHA Health Insurance (University Health Alliance)
UHA was founded as University Health Alliance in 1996 by a group of physician faculty at University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine. UHA provides medical, drug and vision plans to more than 4,200 Hawai‘i employer groups and over 60,000 members. As the only health plan in Hawai‘i founded by physicians, it was the first to offer preventive and wellness care focused health plans in the state. It continues to be physician led and now offers one of the largest physician and provider networks in Hawai‘i. By meeting strict quality standards to ensure clinically sound decision-making that respects the rights of patients and medical providers, UHA received accreditation in Health Utilization Management through URAC, the independent non-profit that promotes healthcare quality.

For information, visit uhahealth.com or follow @uhahealth on Twitter. 

About YMCA of Honolulu
The YMCA of Honolulu is one of Hawai‘i’s leading nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening community by connecting all people, regardless of age, income or background, to opportunities necessary to learn, grow and thrive. Deeply rooted in O‘ahu’s diverse communities since 1869, the YMCA of Honolulu currently operates nine branches throughout O‘ahu: Atherton, Central, Kaimuki-Waialae, Kalihi, Leeward, Mililani, Nu‘uanu, and Windward, and the Waianae Youth Program Center and YMCA Camp Erdman, the resident camp on the North Shore. For more information, visit www.ymcahonolulu.org/.

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