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$50G awarded for kid anti-obesity program

Nico Fiorello, 17, of Seaford, will be visiting

Nico Fiorello, 17, of Seaford, will be visiting Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 to thank the staff who treated him after he broke a bone in his neck that put him in danger of being paralyzed for life. Photo Credit: Handout

The Long Island Community Foundation awarded $50,000 to the philanthropic arm of the NuHealth System in East Meadow for an anti-obesity program aimed at children in the Roosevelt School District.

Deidra Parrish Williams, executive director of the NuHealth Foundation, and Arthur Gianelli, president and chief executive of the NuHealth System, accepted the grant Tuesday during a program at Roosevelt Middle School.

The money will be used to fund an anti-obesity educational program that focuses on sound nutrition and exercise.

Working with experts from the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, the NuHealth Foundation will sponsor monthly workshops and conduct a health fair for middle-school students and their parents.

Childhood obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, tripling in prevalence during the past 30 years. The problem is especially pronounced in minority communities.

CDC studies have found about 70 percent of obese youngsters possess risk factors for diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure. Excess weight, the CDC also has found, puts children at risk for bone and joint disorders as well as social and psychological problems, such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.

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