Childhood Obesity Down Nationwide - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Childhood Obesity Down Nationwide

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Obesity among kids two to five-years-old has dropped 43% in the last decade, according to the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Survey.

Everyday Early Childhood Learning Center Director Ellene Lang offers the kids a healthy lunch and snack, but as we all know, kids and vegetables are sometimes tough to mix.

"We offer a lot of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, keeping the food simple but child friendly. Introducing them slowly to new foods, always encouraging them to take a taste," she said. 

But it isn't just daycare and schools making the switch to a healthy lifestyle.

BriAnna Wanner, Maternal and Child Health with the Health Department says even fast food restaurants are offering healthy choices to kids and their parents.

"There's been a push to make the healthy choice the easy choice. It's not an easy choice when burgers are $1 and salads are $5," she said.

That push has helped make healthy the norm, and Lang says her kids are all for it.

"I remember this story when a little child said 'Mom I ate green trees today at school,' and they're like 'green trees?' The parent came and asked me and here it was broccoli. We offered a little ranch with their fresh vegetables and the child loved the broccoli and then what did the parent do? She went home and started offering broccoli at home," she said.

"When you have a child that is physically fit and feels good about themselves and are healthy, you see all the other areas of development progress at a great speed," she added.

Wanner with the Health Department says child obesity in North Dakota hasn't gone down a whole lot in the past few years, but it hasn't gone up either.

She's hopeful next year we will see a larger decrease in obesity.

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