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More SD Kids Becoming Obese

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Child obesity is rising in South Dakota according to a study done by the South Dakota Health Department. The study shows obesity among children 19 and under rose .7 percent. It may not seem like a lot, but officials said any increase isn’t good.

According to a study done by the South Dakota Health Department, nearly 16 percent of South Dakota kids 19 and under are obese.  

It’s a number officials said they hoped would drop from the 2010-2011 school year’s 15.2 percent rate.

Instead during the 2011-2012 school it rose to 15.9 percent.

We ask why?
" Kids are getting less exercise than they were in the past. And they are probably eating more calories in their diet,” said Dr. Rosanne Bosch, a pediatrician at Sanford Health.
Pediatrician Dr. Rosanne Bosch said food habits are changing, and that it is all too easy for kids to get fast food rather than making something.

"I think we are floored by ease at which we can get fast-food,” said Dr. Bosch.

She also said soda and juice are to blame. But the biggest factor is the lack of movement, kids seem to be glued to screens, and she said parents need to change that.

"Ask the children to earn their television or screen time. A half an hour of exercise gets you a half an hour of screen time,” said Dr. Bosch.

And like doctors teachers are also trying to make sure their students are bringing their healthy habits they learn home.

“ We've noticed that students need more physical fitness activity. Not only here in the school, but outside of the school day,” said Tim Wreck, Physical Education Instructional Coach for the Sioux Falls School District.
Tim Wreck with the Sioux Falls School District said schools have a new program to help kids do just that.

"We've gone to more fitness based curriculum,” said Wreck.

Wreck said the program promotes fitness while kids are learning skills from sports like basketball.     
It’s helping kids learn exercises they can do at home.

And Wreck said it’s just one change the district has made to help kids stay healthier.

"We need to really look at the things that have been going well for us and keep doing those, and see where we need to make some adjustments to help our students,” Wreck said.  

South Dakota’s average is still less than the national average of over 19 percent.

By 2020 the South Dakota Department of Health hopes to have lowered the obesity rate to 14 percent.

The United States Department of Agribusiness has set up a website to see the amount of nutrition each individual child needs.
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