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KIDS' Nutrition Program Wins Grant

A Stamford Hospital program to help at-risk youngsters develop healthy eating, physical activity and weight-maintenance habits has received a $20,000 grant from the United Way of Western Connecticut. The agency selected the hospital's KIDS' FANS program as the first recipient of its Healthy Kids Innovation Award.

"We are delighted that the United Way has chosen to support Stamford Hospital's efforts to combat childhood obesity in the communities we serve," Dr. Gerald Rakos, chair of pediatrics at Stamford Hospital, said in a United Way release. "Our KIDS' FANS program already has many success stories, and with assistance from the United Way we expect there will be many more."

The grant will be awarded over a two-year period. It recognizes new or innovative experimental programs centering on childhood health concerns. KIDS' FANS was chosen due to its all-encompassing perspective, according to the release. For example, it combines exercise, nutrition, family involvement and measurement in its approach to addressing kids' health needs. It also is an educational program that teaches children why lifestyle changes are needed. Fun activities, such as hip hop dancing, are part of the program as well.

KIDS' FANS, which stands for Kids' Fitness and Nutrition Services, was spearheaded by Stamford Hospital staff pediatrician Dr. Madhu Mathur . The program's comprehensive approach consists of involvement by schools and other agencies.

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