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CDC reports childhood obesity is down in some states, Bozeman preschool does its part

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Aug 06 2013 09:12:32 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Experts with the CDC say the latest decline in childhood obesity is encouraging but say we're not out of the woods yet. That's why they're recommending teachers lead kids in physical activity and provide healthy meals and snacks. I spoke with folks at one Bozeman preschool who say they're doing just that.   

"People who do have the money do often eat out multiple times a week instead of cooking something fresh at home," says preschool teacher Julianne Marvin.

Marvin tells me she believes childhood obesity is an issue nationwide and it's not just effecting kids from low income families.

She tells me Little People Academy, the preschool where she works, recently signed up for the Child and Adult Care Food Program to help keep their kids healthy.

"We're offering them things that maybe couldn't be packed in their lunch from home," explains Marvin.

Meals like chicken enchiladas and whole grain rice bowls the kids make themselves.

Marvin tells me physical activity is also important, from music and movement activities to basketball, tricycle races and even yoga.

But Director of Little Peoples Academy Davey Haglund tells me, it's not only about leading kids in activities, it's about leading by example.

"Sitting at the table with them eating, talking about manners, having caring conversation around the table, much like we would do at home," explains Haglund.

While Haglund agrees obesity is an issue, especially with how busy families are these day and how easy it is to grab fast food, she says she hopes preschoolers like hers can learn healthy lifestyles that stick.
 
"If children are learning with their whole bodies, one, it sets a really great example of how to keep healthy and busy your whole life but it also gets the children learning and ready for school," says Haglund.

Some of the states where childhood obesity increased dramatically were Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Some of the states with the greatest decline? Washington, South Dakota and Minnesota.