Mother, Son Learn to Eat, Exercise Properly from UTRGV Program

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EDINBURG – Eating right and exercising, it’s what doctors say is your best chance at fighting diabetes.

Sally Bazan says her 10-year-old son, Jose "Joey" Bazan, is afraid of diabetes. He has been studying up on it and knows his family has a history of it.

She says he started avoiding sugary foods and got involved in an exercise program through the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Bazan says in the last year, her son has become far more focused on how he looks and feels.

"There's a time that he'll say like, 'Oh mom, I think I'm gaining weight again and he'll start cutting back on everything,'" she notes.

She says it's because he has been receiving counseling on healthy eating through UTRGV over the last year. The program also hosts exercise events. On Tuesday, children with the Texas Migrant Council took part in dance exercise.

Bazan says she has seen a difference in her son's energy level and says the exercise he's getting is helping.

"They play basketball and other things with the kids," she says.

Bazan tells us her son has become so good with his dietary habits with the counseling he receives that she is taking note when she makes her shopping list.

"He'll say like, 'Too much red is not good for me.' And, he'll try having – he's trying to have lettuce or steamed vegetables, stuff like that. But a little at a time," she explains.

A health specialist at UTRGV says it's important for children to learn to eat healthy early on. She says the mother's role in this education is crucial.

"As we all know, our mothers probably control the family, as far as shopping and cooking and nutritional planning for their family, and they make the difference," explains Dr. Linda Nelson with UTRGV School of Medicine.

Dr. Nelson says a child who also learns to exercise early on, changes the whole momentum of their lives for the better.

She says UTRGV's exercise programs and nutritional counseling are for all Valley residents who are interested.

If you would like more information, you can call the UTRGV Health and Human Performance department at 956-665-5036.

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