Growing childhood obesity pose concerns to American Youth

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Whether at school or at home, young kids can have a lot of options to choose from to eat.

Kids listed cheese puffs, pizza, and apples when asked for their favorite lunch item. The reason for their favorite food was simple: they like the way it tastes.

At Children’s World Learning Center, they have students ranging from five years old to 5th grade.

Principal Joan Allen says navigating the kids to a healthier route is teamwork between the school and the parents.

“Parents provide students with the lunches and food choices, and we hope that between the parents’ education and the school’s education students will make healthy choices when they become independent,” Allen said.

It’s especially important since a new study from the Journal of Pediatrics shows childhood obesity rates are back up since 2020, presenting concerns for the American youth.

A professor of pediatrics and health disparities at ECU Health David Collier says childhood obesity can lead to cholesterol problems, diabetes, sleep apnea, and so on that could result in early death.

However, he says food insecurity or a limited budget doesn’t have to prevent children from getting a healthy diet.

“You don’t have to use fresh, you don’t need organic, you don’t need gluten-free, any of those things with health endorsement. you just need healthy, whole foods. That can be done relatively inexpensively,” Dr. Collier explained.

Dr. Collier explained that a healthy diet can be prepared with canned or frozen food.

Any two groups out of fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy can make a perfect healthy kids snack like apples and peanut butter.