The childhood obesity epidemic might be slowing, but there's still a long way to go. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. As YNN's Katie Gibas reports, some people are hoping to encourage families to make healthier decisions together.
NEW YORK STATE -- America's children are getting larger. According to the Center for Disease Control, one out of eight pre-school students are considered obese. More than one-third of high school students in New York State are either obese or overweight.
"We're seeing now, more so than ever, an earlier onset of diabetes with children. We didn't really see this ever, unless they were Type 1. But now we're seeing children develop Type 2 Diabetes, which is something we primary saw in adults," said Jessica DesRosiers, the YMCA of Greater Syracuse Senior Healthy Living Director. "So to me, I think that's a large red flag that we're seeing nowadays."
A new study is giving hope that the childhood obesity epidemic might be slowing. It says teenagers are starting to eat more vegetables and starting to exercise more.
"That's showing our youth a better role model. I think if our youth are seeing that maybe their older brother or sister are doing it, then it's probably more accepted. And that's probably something they want to get more engaged in. So I'm glad to see that they're not staying in that same lifestyle that they may have when they were younger, and that they're making changes," said DesRosiers.
According to the CDC, the childhood obesity rate in New York State dropped from 14.6 percent to 14.3 percent between 2008 and 2011. However, New York is still the 16th highest among the states listed in the CDC report. That's why community organizations are working to get kids more active, and involve the whole family in healthier decisions.
"To involve the child in the food making process, whether you have them help you cut things up or toss the salad, set the table. If you make it a fun family activity and they're more engaged, they're more apt to take part in the whole activity and maybe eat that piece of broccoli. And making it more fun," said DesRosiers.
Experts remind parents to limit TV time and encourage kids to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
For more information, check out the links below:
How to get your kids to eat healthier:
How to help your kids lose weight safely: