DAVIS (CBS13) – The childhood obesity rate is on the decline in California, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Golden State is among 19 states with a lower rate.
A father of two, Craig Elliott is starting to adopt healthy practices early.
“They like to grow their own vegetables and eat them straight off the vine,” he said.
Elliott is one of many parents touring the traveling First 5 of California Hands on Health Express at the Davis farmer’s market.
“I think it encourages the kids to be aware of what kind of healthy food they shall eat,” said one mother.
Although California’s obesity rate declined, the latest study by the CDC reveals about one in eight U.S. preschoolers is considered obese.
“I think a family economic situation impacts how they eat,” said Yolo Family Service Agency Executive Director Trisha Stanionis.
The study analyzed low-income children between 2 and 4 years old over a three-year period and found children obese as preschoolers are five times more likely to be obese later in life.
“If you look at the avail of really good fruits and veggies at a reasonable cost, you’ll find it’s not easily accessible in areas that are more impoverished,” said Stanionis.
Experts say obesity could also be linked to high cholesterol, high blood sugar, asthma and mental health problems for kids.
Dietician and mom Cindy Lou says parents need to be vigilant on trying new foods without adding extra sugar and salt.
“They get used to that flavor and just slowly incorporate different things,” she said.
The study found childhood obesity rates increased in Colorado, Indiana and Pennsylvania.