Kids' Exercise Trail Opens in Nat Turner Park
Facility meant to help combat childhood obesity epidemic
Originally published in NewarkPatch
Dr. Nwando Anyaoku, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey in Newark, knows of a patient who weighs 425 pounds and suffers from a litany of obesity-related problems: she’s had hip and knee replacements, is diabetic, has high blood pressure.
She’s also just 13 years old.
While an extreme case, Anyaoku notes that this young girl is hardly alone amongst her peers: an estimated 45 percent of the city’s youth are overweight or obese. She’s become accustomed to treating children for what in decades past were usually afflictions of the middle-aged or older, like hypertension.
Anyaoku was at Nat Turner Park last week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the “Born Learning Trail,” a slice of the park dedicated to combatting this worrisome trend by getting kids into the exercise habit early.
The trail “gives children an opportunity to play without thinking of it as work,” Anyaoku said.