Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) teaches children how to make healthy food choices and to enjoy physical activity, contributing to their social and physical development. 

"The Model for Health and Wellness" VNTTsYEpnsg

More Y Stories

The Tomich Family

Hobart Family YMCA

"My Girls Eat Good Snacks, Play Fun Activities."

Damian's girls aren't just learning about the benefits of the YMCA's  HEPA.  They can't wait to bring home what they've learned at the Y. This is their Y. Their camera. Their story. 


Renee and Martha

YMCA of the Suncoast

"The Y Benefits the Whole Family"

Through their kid's participation in the YMCA's HEPA, Renee and Martha are making healthier decisions and have seen them flourish. This is their Y. Their camera. Their story. 


The Lathans

Joplin Family YMCA

"He Has Learned How to Make New Friends"

YMCA's HEPA often finds Eric asking for “five more minutes” of time with his new pals. Who knew that friendship would be one of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle? This is their Y. Their camera. Their story. 


The Castorenas

Kerr County YMCA

"A Healthy Life, a Healthy Brain"

Josie loves that her kids not only benefit from the YMCA's HEPA, but also that they've found the confidence to get out there and achieve. This is their Y. Their camera. Their story. 


Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards

The Standards
Standard Spotlights
HEPA Infographics: Modeling Healthy Habits, Changing Lifestyles


With more than 2,700 Ys operating in 10,000 communities nationwide, along with nine million children participating in out-of-school programs at least three hours a day, the Y has a responsibility to the families and communities it serves to build lifelong habits in youth that create healthy futures. Driven by commitment and cause, Y-USA pledged to educate kids about healthy lifestyles, model healthy behaviors and cultivate environments that make it easier for kids to make healthier choices. Download an overview on our HEPA standards.

In 2011, Y-USA made a commitment to First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to become the nation’s healthiest childcare provider and help end the childhood obesity epidemic. By adopting and implementing Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in more than 2,700 Ys across the country, the Y is developing healthy habits in more than 700,000 youth with a goal of nearly 2.1 million by 2015. As a cause-driven organization, the Y isn’t merely looking to incorporate HEPA into its early childhood and afterschool programs, but seeks to improve health for youth in every community the Y serves.

Currently, more than 90 percent of local Y early learning and afterschool programs have committed to implementing the HEPA standards.


The HEPA standards are based, in part, on years of research done in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition (HOST) and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST). Built on a foundation of these external resources and the experience of YMCAs across the nation, the standards represent the most effective way to create healthy environments in out-of-school-time settings.


For more information about HEPA, call 1-800-872-9622 to speak with a HEPA representative, e-mail or discover #HEPAChampions.


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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.