Health professionals raising childhood obesity awareness

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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and health experts are using the time to encourage healthy eating and exercise.

“We as a culture have become more obese and less healthy,” said Firm Fitness manager Ryan Arnett.

The Centers for Disease Control says around 20 percent of children in the U.S. are considered obese. That’s triple the statistics from the 1970s.

“If you have an obese child, they have a much higher risk of being an obese adult,” said Jody Renfroe, a dietitian at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. “That can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, conditions like asthma.”

Both Renfroe and Arnett work together to promote healthy lifestyles.

She says healthy eating starts young, and the younger the better.

“You should always offer a child a food more than one time. It shouldn't be one and done and I think that's the mistake parents make.”

Arnett says getting active doesn’t mean using weights and treadmills. Simply walking is great way to start obtaining a more fit lifestyle.

Before beginning any extreme exercise or diet plan, you should consult a physician or trainer.