Healthy Kids Day helps fight obesity - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Healthy Kids Day helps fight obesity

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - In the past 30 years, cases of obesity have doubled in children and quadrupled in teenagers. To help combat that trend, the YMCA hosts its annual Healthy Kids Day.

The group met at Kiroli Park to encourage kids and their parents to live a healthy lifestyle.

They jumped rope, hula hooped and made the long jump. All of these activities they can do at home. And Rebekah Elliott, with the YMCA, said that's the point of Healthy Kid's Day.

"When summer hits and kids are more idle, they need that extra push and motivation to continue to have healthy habits that will sustain them through adult hood,” Elliott said.  

Kristi Kalt heard about the event through work and brought her kids. She said she has always promoted a healthy lifestyle in her home.

"So as they grow they will continue these habits and hopefully teach their children good healthy habits. Diabetes and cancer runs in family," Kalt said.    

They set up 10 stations with different activities. Nutritionist from St. Francis Hospital taught kids healthy eating habits and portion control. And the Children's Coalition was there to talk about safety.

Elliott said the activities are geared toward groups, like families. And she says it’s important to teach kids early about the benefits of healthy eating and physical fitness.

"Statistics are showing that kids even as young as preschool are that are overweight and obese are more likely to overweight and obese as adults. And have the health complications that come with being in that category," Elliot said. 

Kalt said her kids have picked up their love of the outdoors and physical activity through example because she also enjoys being active.

But at the park, these kid's don't realize they are creating healthy habits, all they're doing is having fun.

Sixteen hundred YMCAs across the country celebrated Healthy Kids Day.

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