Ironman Races to Combat Childhood Obesity

The UnitedHealthcare Ironkids Syracuse Fun Run raced around the grounds of Jamesville Beach Park Saturday.

UnitedHealthcare mascot “Dr. Health E. Hound” and Linda Goldsworthy, Director, Upstate Market, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan kicked-off the 1-mile course aimed to help stem the rising tide of childhood obesity through exercise and healthy lifestyles.

UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring 10 Ironkids events – nine running races and a triathlon – in seven states. The Fun Run included hundreds of young “triathletes to be”, ages 3 to 15.

[ Also Read: Obesity to Shorten Life by 10 Years: Research ]

The company provided complimentary tickets to the race and weekend-long Ironman activities to local students from East Syracuse-Minoa, Jamesville-Dewitt, Syracuse City Schools, The Spanish Action League, and The Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse, enabling children who often face barriers to good health, to compete in the event.

Children from low-income and low-education households are three-times more likely to suffer from obesity, which is a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and many cancers, according to America’s Health Rankings, an annual assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis.

According to UnitedHealthcare, New York ranks 13th in the country in childhood obesity, and 11% of New York youth are estimated to be obese.

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Rakesh Raman