Dads help promote health program for Maitland

Jul 25 2012

A program that has set two fathers on the path to a healthier lifestyle and helped them lose a combined 45kgs is coming back to Maitland in August with more dads being encouraged to sign up.

The Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids program, led by Professor Philip Morgan from the University of Newcastle, is a partnership between the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Hunter New England Health and the University.

Almost 50 fathers took part in the Maitland program in 2011, achieving significant weight loss while spending quality time with their kids.
Adam Reynolds said that he joined the program when it came to town last year and has since lost an outstanding 25kg.

“Through the program I have been able to change my eating habits and understand the nutrition content in the foods I consume and what I need to balance my day,” Mr Reynolds said.

“I was also able to spend quality time with my children Alexander and Celeste and we really enjoyed the games and activities together.

“I work in an office environment where I typically don’t have to move around much so this program has helped me become more active as well as watch what I eat – one thing I’ve really noticed is that I no longer have problems with my knees when I walk up the stairs.”

A considerably lighter Adam Reynolds and his kids

Local father Ian McElduff said he participated in last year’s Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids program with his seven-year-old son Casey and has lost 20kg by maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

“I joined the program to lose weight and get healthy to set an example for my son,” Mr McElduff said. “The highlight was playing games with Casey, especially sock wrestling as that was his favourite.“

It also helped me to change unhealthy lifestyle habits and now I exercise more and have a much healthier diet.“Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids is not only a great program for dads but for kids as well as it promotes a healthier way of living.

“I am now training and raising money to do the Oxfam 100km trail walk in August, which involves training between one and two hours four times a week plus a long trail walk on Sundays.

“It would have been difficult to accomplish this goal without having changed what I eat and exercising more.”

Professor Philip Morgan said he was proud to hold Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids in Maitland again this year.

“The program has been very successful in seeing dads such as Ian and Adam lose weight, learn about healthy lifestyles and spend time with their children by participating in fun physical activities,” Professor Morgan said.

“Dads have the important responsibility of setting an example for their children and their entire family.

“By developing healthy eating and exercise habits, children can follow in their father’s footsteps and develop healthy lifestyles as well.”

Coal & Allied Principal Community Investment Stephen Sneddon said Coal & Allied was proud to support Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids and was looking forward to reaching out to more Maitland dads this year.

“This program has now run in Newcastle, Singleton, Scone, Maitland, Muswellbrook, and Cessnock and is making a significant and positive difference to the quality of life for many fathers and their families,” Mr Sneddon said.

“Since 2010, we have been pleased to support this program by investing $525,000 over three years through our Coal & Allied Community Development Fund, which has seen more than 200 dads and more than 300 children successfully complete the program.

“Coal & Allied understands the importance of healthy lifestyles and we encourage local dads in Maitland to take the initiative and join the program.”

Two programs will kick-start again in Maitland, each running over 12 weeks with eight sessions held on Tuesday or Wednesday nights.The first program begins on 7 August at Maitland Christian School and runs on Tuesday nights from 5.45 to 7.15pm and the second program starts on 22 August at East Maitland Public School, running on Wednesday nights from 6.00 to 7.30pm.

To find out more information about the program or to register, please contact Joel Cruickshank on (02) 4921 6721 or email joel.cruickshank@newcastle.edu.au. Registrations close Monday 6 August (program 1) and Tuesday 21 August (program 2) or when places are filled.Website:http://www.healthydadshealthykids.com.au/