The program - developed jointly by the City of Knoxville, the University
of Tennessee's Agriculture Extension Service and the Knox County
Health Department - is aimed at reducing childhood obesity by encouraging
children to eat healthy and exercise.
Instructors with the UT Extension Service trained the city's recreation
center directors to teach the 10-week-long program.
About 200 children in after school programs at the city's New Hope,
Milton Roberts, West Haven, Inskip-Norwood, Christenberry, Lonsdale
and Cumberland Estates Recreation centers took part in the Power-U
In the voluntary program they ate a variety of fruits and vegetables,
learned fun new ways to exercise and went on a hike from Island
Home Park to Ijam's Nature Center along the Will Skelton Greenway.
"One of the keys to facing the issue of childhood obesity
is to show kids how important exercise is while also showing them
how much fun it can be," Haslam said. "We think Power-U
Healthy has done that and we're very pleased with the results from
the initial offering of the program."
To encourage walking, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee donated
200 pedometers for the participants to use and they, in turn, recorded
the number of steps they took each day as part of a competition.
One child turned in over 10,000 steps one day.
The Knoxville Utilities Board also donated 500 bottles of water
for the activity.
The city's Parks and Recreation Department plans to offer the program
again, this time in an expanded number of recreation centers, beginning