INDIANA (WLFI) - Indiana is the 8th fattest state in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC says 16 percent of Indiana teens are overweight. Nearly 13 percent are obese.
A startling statistic from the Indiana Youth Institute shows one in eight Hoosier high school kids is obese.
What might be even more shocking is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 percent of children ages two through five are obese in the State of Indiana.
Pediatrician Jarod Cates says he sees two or three patients come through his office every day who are obese.
"Being obese as a child carries a life long risk of continuing that obesity into adulthood first of all and it carries risk of developing problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, usually type two, heart problems. Things of that nature," Cates said.
Many people may point fingers at fast food for childhood obesity. Cates says while fast food may contribute to the problem, kids aren't getting the amount of exercise they need on a daily basis.
Cates even says he tells patients it's okay to eat fast food every once in awhile.
"It's probably okay to have that kind of food sometimes, but it should be limited. I try to tell children it should be a ‘sometimes food,' not something they do routinely. Once a week at most," Cates said.
"Why are our children obese? Because our adults are obese," Indiana Youth Institute President and CEO Bill Stanczykiewicz said.
Stanczykiewicz says 30 percent of adults in Indiana are obese.
"If their parents aren't eating well and their parents aren't exercising, their parents are living a lifestyle leading to obesity it's very likely the kids will follow in that path."
A path physical education instructor Lori Windler says she wants to change. But Windler says it's important parents have a role in helping teach healthy life choices at home.
"You have those kids who aren't interested in physical activity and I would just encourage parents to be active with their children just so they can see how much fun that is to experience."
"It's important to show your children that fruits and vegetables are good things. To make a habit of eating foods like that and to also make a habit of staying active," Cates said.
When it comes to physical activity Cates suggests 60 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.
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