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Childhood obesity rates have tripled since 70s

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Posted at 2:39 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 18:07:20-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Obesity rates among children are a big concern for doctors.

About 18% of kids ages 2-19 are considered obese.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the numbers are triple what they were in the 1970s.

Because of that, doctors are seeing more cases of Type 2 diabetes among kids, along with other health issues.

As part of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month held every September, Patient First is encouraging parents and kids to make some positive changes.

Medical Director Dr. Maulin Desai tells News 3 it's important for parents to model good behavior.

"Children mimic what they are seeing," said Dr. Desai.

He says some of the goals parents should work towards are eliminating a lot of junk foods from the house and staying away from sweet foods and sugary beverages.

Those foods should be replaced with vegetables and healthy proteins.

Parents should also consider exercise a family event.

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"Just walking or running around the block as a family to show children that this is acceptable to be outside, to be active, to eat healthy," said Dr. Desai.

Kids should be getting about an hour of physical activity per day.

Dr. Desai says parents should also remember that results are not going to happen overnight, so don't get discouraged.

For more ideas on living a healthier life, click here.