The national rate of childhood obesity is 18.5 percent, which isn’t too far behind the rate of adults.
About 30 percent of American adults are obese.
A local pediatrician is working to bring that rate down.
Dr. Diana Peterson said she’s seeing more and more childhood obesity among her patients and that a lot of it stems from a sedentary lifestyle.
That’s why she’s offering free family fitness classes to minimize the barriers when it comes to healthy habits.
“I’ve been concerned about obesity probably for the last 10 years,” Dr. Peterson said.
In fact, she said when she was in medical school in the early 90s, obesity didn’t really exist in kids.
Now, she’s seeing an increasing rate of childhood obesity and health conditions caused by it.
“I see those every day now,” Peterson said. “Sleep apnea, hypertension because of obesity, type 2 diabetes. When I trained, there was no type 2 diabetes in children. Now, 50 percent of childhood diabetes is type 2.”
So she started 4Family Fitness, offering free fitness classes for kids and their families.
“The goal is to get kids up and moving.”
As a pediatrician, she encourages healthy habits as well, using the 5-2-1-0 rules.
Each day, eat five or more servings of fruits or vegetables, limit screen time to two hours or less, get one hour of physical activity, and don’t drink any sugar-sweetened drinks.
She said, “An average teenager, over half their daily calories come from sugar-sweetened beverages.”
Classes are offered three days a week:
Sunday and Tuesday nights from 6 to 6:45 is geared towards kids in kindergarten to third grade, focusing on movement, dances, games, and a craft, too.
Family Zumba for the kids and any adults who are interested is Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7 PM.
4Family Fitness is located at 8413 19th Ave NW in Burlington.