NYC program helps teens lose weight

Oct. 18, 2010 at 9:18 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A New York teen dropped 31 pounds by eating produce, giving up sugary foods and drinks, limiting TV and video games and exercising an hour daily, officials say.

Nineteen-year-old Hipatia Cruceta says she lost the weight by following the 5-2-1-0 rule: Five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, no more than 2 hours or less of of TV or video games a day, one hour of exercise daily and zero sugary foods or drinks.

Cruceta says before getting help at the Lincoln Hospital Center's Pediatric Obesity Program for snacks she ate three bags of Jolly Ranchers, a pack of Now & Laters and several mouthfuls of Sugar Daddies -- at least three times a day.

"I used to eat so much candy that when I went to sleep I got headaches, and felt dizzy," Cruceta says in a statement.

Today, the Bronx teen says she snacks on apples, bananas or a vegetable.

"I also learned about portion control," holding up a fist to show how much rice she now eats at dinner. "The only thing I have trouble with is water, so I just add Crystal Light."

The program's Dr. Swati Dave-Sharma says a New York City study finds 40 percent of city children are overweight or obese.

The clinic teaches nutrition, healthy cooking, portion control and integrating exercise into their daily routines. A monthly program teaches yoga, Pilates, taekwondo and dancing.

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