Nearly a decade ago Reverend Patricia Davidson and Donald Barr, the trustees of The Bingham Trust, recognized the impending epidemic of what is now one of the most prevalent health concerns affecting kids and families across the United States—obesity.
In Boston alone the rate of overweight and obese children is a staggering 43.6%. Sadly, even higher rates exist in poorer communities throughout Massachusetts such as Lawrence and Fitchburg. And, tragically, 33% of 9-month olds and 2-year olds in the United States are already considered overweight. Obese children suffer medically, psychologically, and economically. It is estimated that health care expenditures for obese children are $3,371 more as compared to non-obese children, therefore it is imperative that childhood obesity be effectively managed.
To address the problem, in 2005 The Bingham Trust granted $2,500,000 to Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children's Hospital to establish a treatment program, now named the Center for Youth Wellness (CYW).
With this initial grant, the CYW, led by Michael Leidig, MS, RD has grown into an innovative, results-driven, and collaborative program that works to get, and keep, kids healthy. The comprehensive wellness program serves multiple communities including Chinatown, Lowell, and MetroWest with plans to launch the program
with partners in Brockton and Winchester later this year.
Witnessing the tremendous impact of their first gift, Rev. Davidson and Mr. Barr have committed another gift through The Bingham Trust approving $600,000 in additional support for the CYW. This gift supports the current work of CYW while fueling a desired and much needed expansion to Maine.
The Bingham Trust’s generosity is life changing for children and families throughout the region.
The Center for Youth Wellness offers:
- A teen weight management program to encourage youth to make positive changes to nutrition and physical activity habits
- Individual/family-based counseling for children, birth to 10 years-old
- An educational workshop series for parents and caregivers
- A training and outreach initiative for medical residents and pediatricians