{{show_title_date || "Women’s group takes on childhood obesity, 8/9/13, 11:50 AM ET"}}

‘Girls on the Run’ puts kids on track for healthy lives


As stressful as it is to be an adult, it’s not always easy being a kid.

Serious issues face kids across the country, from bullying to peer pressure to low self-esteem. And while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported some good news on the childhood obesity front this week, the CDC still classifies approximately 12.5 million children and adolescents in the U.S. as obese.
Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization that serves over 130,000 3rd-8th graders across North America, seeks to tackle those issues facing young girls today. Over the course of a three-month season, participants meet with volunteer coaches twice a week to learn healthy life skills, both physically and emotionally. The season culminates with 5k running events across the U.S. and Canada.
“It is designed for every girl,” said Allison Hauser, executive director of Girls on the Run NYC, on msnbc Friday. “Some girls are excited about the running aspect, some girls are excited about making new friends. But through the program, they’re developing these life skills, and they’re running, and they’re dancing, and they’re leaping, and they’re joyful.”
While the program does require a registration fee, 39% of participants receive financial assistance, said Hauser, and some girls are fully sponsored.
“It’s meant for every girl, regardless of their background,” she said.
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