CLEARFIELD -- The health, weight, eating behaviors, physical activity -- or the lack of it -- and the body image of Utah's youths are growing concerns for Davis County Health Department officials.
In response, the department is offering two free BodyWorks program workshops.
The first six-week workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Davis County Health Department conference room, 22 S. State St., Clearfield.
The second workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. May 15 at the county's WIC office, 596 E. 750 South, Woods Cross.
BodyWorks is a hands-on program designed to help parents and caregivers with youths ages 9 to 17 implement positive changes in their family's behaviors and attitudes about healthy lifestyle choices.
In 2011, 59 percent of adults and 21 percent of adolescents in Utah were overweight and thus at greater risk for diabetes, adult obesity and chronic diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular disorders, according to the state department of health.
"I am not surprised that research continues to show that many adolescents have poor eating habits and decreased physical activity," said Bonnie Athas, Davis County Health promotion bureau manager.
"Many adolescents skip breakfast, have non-nutritious lunches and don't eat dinner with their families," she said.
Adolescence marks an important period when both pre-teens and teens adopt eating and exercise habits that last a lifetime, said Dr. Jonelle Rowe, senior medical adviser for adolescent women's health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"There are also many social consequences of unhealthy attitudes and behaviors about food, exercise and weight for adolescents, including decreased self-esteem and self-worth, increased anxiety and depression, and an increased likelihood of potential eating and exercise disorders," Rowe said.
Parents who enroll in the BodyWorks program will receive a BodyWorks tool kit, which consists of a recipe book, food and fitness journals, a weekly meal-planner refrigerator magnet, a pedometer and a video with ideas for shopping and cooking.
For more information, call 801-525-5099 or email email@example.com.