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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

GoKids or Go Home

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Being a first-world nation, the U.S. has experienced some dramatic gains throughout history. Sadly, some gains are far from beneficial, one of which is childhood obesity. In a society that values easy solutions and large quantities, there seems to be no easy solution for the quantity of children that are at risk of being overweight. Fortunately, many are taking a stab at the problem. Case in point: GoKids Boston.

GoKids Boston is an interdisciplinary youth research and training center that caters to many, such as children, families and researchers in order to find solutions to the problem of unhealthily growing children and to reduce the health disparity among the underserved families of Boston.

Created from the collaboration between UMass Boston’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Children’s Hospital Boston, GoKids tries to specialize in aiding young and at-risk kids (those with diabetes, obesity, asthma, cancer and congenital heart disease, among others), but helps others as well.

Healthy children and teens who do not share the same health risks, but seek to improve their fitness or performance are also welcome. The overall objective is to assist these kids so that they may improve their levels fitness, eat nutritiously and gain self-confidence in their, lives as well as become more active in school, at home and in the community.

Located on the UMass Boston campus, GoKids serves as a laboratory of sorts for undergraduate and graduate students focusing on the health and medical fields, specifically those studying exercise science, nursing, education and psychology. UMass Boston even offers credit to those who work in the center.

Also taking part in the research and learning experience are faculty researchers and clinical investigators. GoKids is a center for learning about health as much as it is for improving it. Variables, including different varieties of exercise, clinical conditions and the overall health of the individual, are all important factors in figuring out the best ways to improve health conditions and reduce sedation of the average child, thereby reducing the overall health risks.

Apart from the typical equipment one may find in an average gym, GoKids houses up-to-date technology for both exercise and research. One notable feature is called “exergaming,” which combines interactive video games with player movement in order to improve the development of motor skills and physical fitness while keeping the kids eager and intent on continuing the workout.

As the program continues, those who work in the center hope that expansion will soon come to include the participation of many other clinics and services throughout the city to more thoroughly improve the fitness and health of Boston’s youth.