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Gimme Five: Mark Offenbacher


Each week, our own Zach Brooks speaks with a Leader to get a quick look at why he or she loves working to create healthy environments for kids. Want to take part? Visit Zach’s profile and contact him.

Mark Offenbacher struggled with weight issues throughout his childhood and adolescence, giving him a personal understanding of how challenging it can be for young people to get healthy. Now he’s working in Las Vegas with the organization Healthy Hearts LLC to help elementary school students learn how to lead healthy lifestyles.

Name: Mark Offenbacher
Title: Certified Health Coach
Organization: Healthy Hearts, LLC

What inspired you to start working on childhood obesity?

I grew up overweight and the outcast all through my school years. It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I was able to get a handle on my weight. By that time the damage to my personality had been done. I know full well the trials and tribulations kids are going through these days, and with the American diet primarily based around processed foods and fast food restaurants, kids are struggling just to understand why they are having trouble staying healthy, let alone lose some weight.

How are you helping to reverse childhood obesity?

When I was living in Oregon, I was part of an organization called 5210. It’s a health and wellness program designed to help kids understand how to manage their choices and teach them about proper nutrition. At that time, I was working with kids in elementary school.

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?

Being involved in the 5210 program.

Who is your role model in your work?

Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson. He has developed a health and wellness program that helps people of all ages understand why they eat the way they do and provides comprehensive strategies and tools to help them turn their health around.

What healthy activities did you enjoy growing up?

When I grew up, we played outside from the time we got out of school until dinner. We rode bikes, played hide and seek, flew kites, swam in the pool, rode skateboards and we walked everywhere, including to and from school.