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Molding Children into Champions
Part I – An Education in Nutrition
By Shannon M. Nass

Roger Duchon has a mission. As owner of Champion Fitness and Wellness Complex in Baldwin, his goal is to help reduce the rate of childhood obesity in his and surrounding communities through educating children in nutrition and fitness. An overweight child himself, Duchon knows first hand what it is like to bully and be bullied because of weight. He became interested in health and fitness at the age of 18 after he was diagnosed with asthma and told by his doctor he could either quit smoking cigarettes or die. Duchon promptly threw out the cigarettes and joined the YMCA. Since then, he has dedicated his life to educating himself on the mechanics of the body. His passion for helping children has stemmed from the epidemic of childhood obesity and high blood pressure among children in his own community. Says Duchon, "If I can save my little corner here in Pittsburgh and give these kids a life when they are in their 40s and 50s, then I've done my job."

Duchon plans on achieving this goal by educating parents and children in nutrition and fitness. While he believes children need to take responsibility, he helps parents understand the importance of portion size and providing healthy meals so that they can help their children. The program is designed for children ages 6 to 17, when bodies are undergoing their most significant growth.

Duchon performs an initial assessment on the child that includes body and muscle mass tests. Those results, combined with the child's size and activity level, help Duchon determine the best nutrition plan for that child. Every plan includes food from each of the five food groups in a balanced format to ensure perfect body mechanics. Parents receive a nutrition booklet designed specifically with children in mind that is both fun and interactive so that they can work daily with their child to help them meet their personal nutrition goals.

Unlike other plans on the market, Duchon's is not a diet. Children are not deprived of food. In fact, they typically end up consuming more food while making better choices. Also, each plan is tailored to a child's individual needs, which makes no two plans the same. The minimal cost is also a benefit, making it affordable for families from all ranges of income.

Champion Fitness Wellness and Confidence Complex is located at 4500 Clairton Blvd., Pittsburgh. For more information, call Roger Duchon at (412) 881-6699.

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