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Health fair aims to get families up and moving

9/1/2010, 5:16 a.m.
Brandy Cruthird (right) holds a young girl’s feet as she performs a sit-up as a group of youngsters look on during a recent workout at Body By Brandy 4 Kidz, a Roxbury gym that Cruthird built exclusively for young exercisers. Ted Lewis

Obesity rates in America have tripled in the last 30 years.

And locally, 35 percent of children under the age of 6 are overweight or obese, which is 15 percent more than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Brandy Cruthird, founder of Body By Brandy 4 Kidz, has been working diligently to do her part in curbing childhood obesity in the Boston area since 2006 when she created a safe and welcoming place for children to work out and learn about healthy lifestyle habits.

Michelle Obama has also made it one of her missions to decrease childhood obesity and in doing so, the first lady has declared September Childhood Obesity Month.

Inspired by Obama and in hopes of making a difference in the lives of Boston’s children, Body by Brandy 4 Kids is holding its first family fitness day, “The House Is Getting Fit,” a community-wide health fair and childhood obesity symposium, at City Hall Plaza on Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The day’s events will include fitness demonstrations, screenings, health vendors, music and giveaways for the whole family. There will also be a writing contest for children 10 and up. Children are being asked to write rap songs about living healthy in the community. The winner will receive $250 and a chance to perform on City Hall Plaza.

The simple goal here is to enlighten the community about childhood obesity issues and get families thinking about the importance of being fit and staying fit.

Instead of spending the time watching TV or playing video games, Cruthird encourages families to get out of the house for the day and be proactive about their health habits.

Cruthird hopes that parents can learn the importance of helping children lead healthier lifestyles. After all, she says that parents are the best role models and they should lead the charge and set an example of building and maintaining healthy habits for their children.

“I want people to learn that fitness can be fun,” Cruthird added.

For more information about Body by Brandy 4 Kidz, visit www.bodybybrandy.com or call 617-442-2187.