Athletic Department Event Showed That ‘Healthy’ Can Be ‘Fun’

Hearing the sobering statistics regarding the rate of childhood obesity in New Haven hit home for Yale baseball star Josh Cox, inspiring him to organize the first annual Yale Athletic Health Fair and Community Dinner.

The free event — which aimed to educate New Haven children and parents about nutrition, food and childhood obesity — was held Dec. 6 in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

“I was shocked to learn that over 50% of schoolchildren in New Haven are overweight,” says Cox, a 2008 Yale graduate who works at the Yale Athletics Department. “My goal is to promote healthy living and exercise in a fun and interactive environment.”


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A panel of Yale medical professionals and food policy experts from the Yale Rudd Center discussed issues ranging from healthy eating on a budget to the ways companies market food to children.

The children took a field trip to the Yale Sustainable Food Farm where they learned about vegetables and had the chance to dig for carrots for a snack.

Other events at the fair included healthy shopping demonstrations by Shaw’s Supermarket; cooking demonstrations by Culinary Concerts Caterers; diabetes informational by diabetes specialist Vanessa Jefferson of the Yale School of Nursing; fast food information by Subway and Lesser Evil; and an indoor exercise station with Dance, Dance Revolution and Nintendo Wii.

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