OWL On The Water Plays To Strengths Of Kids Struggling With Weight Loss

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On a recent morning, eight kids row their long, slender boat just past the Community Boating boathouse on the Charles River. At first glance, it's nothing unusual on this stretch of the river, where rowing is a popular pastime and sport.

But take a close look, and there is something unusual about this boat: the eight rowers are all on the heavy side. It turns out, they're part of an innovative program called OWL On The Water.

OWL stands for "optimal weight for life," and it's part of an obesity program at Boston Children's Hospital.

Many of these kids have grown used to being excluded from traditional school sports programs, so OWL On The Water is tailored just for them.


Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR's CommonHealth blog. She tweets @commonhealth.

Sarah Picard, clinical exercise physiologist at Boston Children's OWL clinic.


CommonHealth: If You Build A Crew Program For Overweight Kids, They Will Row — And Get Fitter

  • "OWL On The Water offers a small solution to a major national problem: According to the latest numbers, 23 million American kids are overweight or obese, and only about one quarter of 12-to-15-year-olds get the recommended one hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity."

This segment aired on September 22, 2014.


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