State to Help Combat Childhood Obesity

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

July 6, 2007

The federal government plans on spending over one-billion dollars this year to fight what they are calling an epidemic with today's youth--childhood obesity.

However, the Associated Press recently released their own study that showed that basically says kids are not getting any slimmer.

Studies show that obesity is often times homegrown and now with concern on the rise the Commonwealth of Virginia is stepping in.

Next week lawmakers in Virginia will gather in Richmond where a special joint sub-committee will discuss childhood obesity in public schools.

"This is a huge problem for youngsters in the Commonwealth and if people don't address it early, it becomes a huge problem for our health care system over time," said State Delegate David Toscano.

The Virginia Department of Health says Charlottesville mirrors the national numbers.

In the past ten years, studied show that 36% of Albemarle County 3rd graders were overweight or obese.

Also, the same studies show that 53% of Charlottesville City 5th graders were also overweight or obese.

Toscano said, "Part of the commission's role is to take testimony from people that have experience in this area and we are going to focus a lot of effort on the public schools because that's where children spend a lot of their time."

"There's not one reason why some-body's overweight and there's not one solution for fixing it, so the city, the county...its going to take that sort of unified approach to where everybody gets on board," said Barbara Yager, with the health department.

For more information on the Childhood Obesity Task Force, click on the newslinks section of this website.

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