ATLANTA (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee is one of only three states where childhood obesity rates continue to rise.
In a report released last week, researchers discovered the first-ever decline in childhood obesity nationwide. The new study shows a slight drop in obesity rates for preschoolers in 18 states.
Nationwide, about 12 percent of boys and girls are obese.
Cindy Chafin - with the Center for Health and Human Service at Middle Tennessee State - says its crucial for parents to model good eating and exercise habits.
“Because children see what they see and that becomes the norm for them. So all the things that we know we should do we need to model that because the kids are paying attention.”
Chafin also urges parents to pay attention to portion size.
“In the 1970’s, 13.6 ounces was the average portion size for a sugared beverage and now that’s up to 20 ounces.”
If you’d like to hear Chafin’s suggestions for how to keep your child at a healthy weight, click on the audio icon at the top of this story.