Health Officials Advise Active Family Lifestyles

Health Officials Advise Active Family Lifestyles

CAMP FOSTER - Does a typical day at your house involve your family lingering around or being coach potatoes? If you answered "Yes," health officials on Okinawa want to help you break this cycle and begin an active family lifestyle.

To help families reverse sluggish lifestyles, U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa Health Promotions and Marine Corps Community Services staff organized the 2008 Kid's Health Fest at the Foster Community Center auditorium.

The event coordinators set up health information booths for parents and their children to address questions or concerns they might have so they can get healthy as a family.

"It is always good to stress the importance of checkups and immunizations as well as living an active lifestyle to children and parents alike," said Andrea Deen-Hampton, department head for the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa Health Promotions.

This was the fourth year the hospital and MCCS held the event, and the theme this year was 'active living everyday.'

"This event is able to show people many of the different resources that the hospital has to offer," said Meghan Capp, a health promotion specialist with U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa Health Promotions.

At this year's event, 15 different departments from US Naval Hospital Okinawa, and more than 10 MCCS organizations set up activity and information booths such as blood typing, pediatrics and face painting.

Event organizers said the booths were designed and decorated to get the attention of the family members.

"What I liked this year was the blood typing booth," said 8-year-old Matthew Epperly. "It was cool to be able to see my blood under a microscope."

"This event allows the staff to get out of the hospital and into the community," Deen-Hampton said.

This is one of the biggest events focused on children's health that the hospital and MCCS host throughout the year, Capp said.

"Last year about 500 parents and children attended the event," said Deen-Hampton, "This year we had at least the same amount if not more."

In addition to the booths, other attractions at the event were children's yoga and cardio and strength exercise stations, and the Amelia Earhart Eisa Dancers and Japanese drummers who preformed for the crowd.

"It is important to keep health on people's minds," Capp said. "We had a good turnout. Plus, seeing children come to this event before and after their weekend soccer games shows that a healthy lifestyle is already on many people's minds."

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