Health Out Loud at YMCA
By Lily Ye
Dec 8, 2015
On Saturday November 7, Health Out Loud (HOL), together with many other health organizations, presented at YMCA Health Fair to provide interactive workshops and information sessions for youths around Greater Toronto Area. Around 200 youths from ages 11-17 attended the event and met with the representatives from various health-related organizations, including Toronto Public Health, Government Ontario, and Healthy Childhood. The purpose and aim of the YMCA Health Fair was to educate and promote healthy lifestyle and decision making for youths. A wide range of health topics were covered at the fair, ranging from nutrition, support services and resources for youths, disease prevention, smoking, and sexual health. The event was organized in a creative and interactive way, where students simulated world travelling with a passport for stamp collection. Students travelled around and stopped at each health organization booth where they received a stamp after successful completion of a workshop activity.
At our table, we prepared an activity to inform youths about sugar contents in popular soft drinks. We asked participants to estimate how much sugar they thought was in the soft drinks by using a teaspoon to scoop sugar into a plastic cup. Some youths tried to pour the entire sugar jar into the cup, while some used very little sugar in defense of their favorite drinks, and others competed with their friends to get the correct answer. Afterwards, we showed the answers to compare with their estimates. It generated lots discussions around healthy drink options, sugar content in food and drinks we normally eat, consequences of high sugar diet, what constitutes a healthy diet, barriers and challenges in healthy diet, and making healthy choices.
Overall, the YMCA Health Fair was a great success, and it was a great chance to get in touch with our community. We will be working with YMCA in the future to participate in more health promoting events. We will be having our next events with On Your Mark and Working Women’s HIPPY Program.