The state of childhood obesity in Ind.

Indiana Numbers don't lie-- we are becoming a nation of very fat people and that includes our kids.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the last 30 years.

So how do Hoosier kids fare when compared to the rest of the country?

“In Indiana, about 14 percent of our younger children are obese,” said Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of Indiana Youth Institute.

On the positive side, that is slightly below the national average of 17 percent but still a significant problem that can't be ignored.

Overweight kids are more likely to be at risk for heart disease linked to high blood pressure and cholesterol, to have pre-diabetes and bone and joint problems.

And they also have to deal with the social stigma.

“A child who is obese is more likely to be bullied at school, even if they are at school obese children are twice as likely to be absent. You put those two things together kids who are obese are much more likely not to do well in school,” he said.

So what can we do to help? Set an example and provide our kids with healthy options and get them moving.

“Back in the day it was so much easier to get them out, we didn't have air conditioning so we definitely went outside we didn't have video games so we went outside, it's so much easier for kids to be sitting still and not being active.”

And Stanczykiewicz says it takes a village, communities can find ways to help out families.

“Increasing walking trails, increasing biking trails and other zoning thing related to public parks and creation of play space.. So next time you want to plop down on the couch why not go out for a walk instead and next time you go to reach for that bag of chips, grab and apple and share it with you child. You could be serving up a plate of healthy choices that will last a lifetime,” he adds.


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