How To Combat Childhood Obesity

CHICAGO (CBS) — In the past 30 years, obesity rates have doubled in young children and quadrupled for teenagers.

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the U.S., which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dedicated the month of September to raising awareness.

CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey talks to Lifestyle Specialist Maisha Wynn, of Live to Wynn, who shares some simple changes you can make to keep your kids healthy and combat childhood obesity:

  • Be a leader
  • Get them in the kitchen
  • Get them moving
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Focus on the positive

Wynn, who says she was obese her entire childhood and has lost over 120 pounds as an adult, says when it comes to managing childhood obesity, parents are really the leaders. “Parents are leaders, they’re influencers, so you want to make sure that you lead by example,” Wynn said. “If you’re eating healthy, your child will eat healthy.”

Have children participate in grocery shopping or preparing food for the day, Wynn says. “Start having them go grocery shopping with you, pick fresh produce, fresh veggies…If they’re old enough having them to cut fresh veggies.”

It’s important to keep kids active. “Make sure you have your children doing something they enjoy,” Wynn says., including swimming, walking, martial arts, etc.

Avoid sugary drinks. “Re-think the drink that you get children. There’s so much sugar and soda in sweet tea, so I love infusing my water with various fresh fruits and vegetables.” Wynn added.

And lastly, Wynn says to stay positive in the way that you talk about health. Don’t make negative comments about your child’s weight or your own, she says.

Wynn is hosting a back-to-school wellness event on Oct. 5, from 5-7 p.m. at Pete’s Fresh Market, 259 Lake St. in Oak Park. For more information, visit the Live to Wynn website.

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