Georgia Ranks Second in U.S. for Childhood Obesity- Experts Tackle Issue

By: Kara Duffy Email
By: Kara Duffy Email

June 29, 2012

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, 40% of children ages 10 to17 are considered overweight or obese and that poses some big health risks.

Dr. John Mansberger from Archbold Integrative Medicine Center said, "Diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea; these are all problems we thought were purely adult problems, but now we're seeing them all the time."

With school out for the summer, kids will have plenty of extra time on their hands. The good news is, there's healthy options to fill that time, such as the YMCA's Teen Summer Fitness Frenzy.

"If they work out three times a week, they get their names entered in a drawing and they can win Walmart giftcards and stuff like that," said Kim Smith, the director of fitness and wellness at Thomasville's YMCA. "At the end of the summer, they also get a t-shirt that they actually earned."

New technology also makes it so that kids can get the best of both worlds. They can play video games, while they work out.

"They don't even realize they're working out," Smith said. "We have a little boy who comes here who does not like to exercise. He loves the new bikes. I mean, he begs his mom to bring him up here to work out, not to work out, he calls it playing on the bikes."

No matter what you call it, being fit is much more than a number on the scale.

"It's just very important to just be happy in your own skin and to not have as many insecurities, especially being a girl," said high school student Sierra Lloyd.

Ambernique Reddick, 17, added, "I'm going to try and lose a lot of weight, but better yet, I'm just going to have fun with it and know that I'm doing something positive."

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