Tampa Bay Times
May 2011

Tampa Bay Times May 2011 LARGO — Fast food, video games, television and Facebook. Parents pressed for time, juggling work in a tough economy, and in many cases struggling with sheer exhaustion. Welcome to family life in 2011. Brandon McIntosh, a Largo recreation program supervisor and certified personal trainer, has seen both sides — inactive youth uninspired to get in shape and frustrated parents concerned with their child’s health. With the official launch of Fit Kids, he’s aiming to help those families in need. McIntosh, 30, is well aware of the statistics: About 17 percent of children and adolescents 2 to 19 in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. That’s 12.5 million children. "In the last couple years, as I worked with our (after school) program, I saw a lot of kids who were overweight feeling picked on because of their weight, and I wondered, if they feel like this in my rec center, what must it be like for them in school? I felt bad,” McIntosh said. Every Monday since March, he has led a one-hour fitness class with up to 20 kids, ages 9 to 15. As music is pumped into the classroom next to the gym, he combines a nutrition lesson, aerobics and training on exercise equipment. He also moves the class outside, holding part of the workout in the fresh air. McIntosh is quick to point out that Fit Kids is made up of typical youngsters. Yes, … Read More