Obese Young Americans Doing Something - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/26/2007-Tyler

Obese Young Americans Doing Something

The numbers are staggering: more than a third of American children are overweight.  It is a scary change in shape for many Americans. But some children aren't just sitting around, they are doing something about it.

Childhood obesity is the focus of a new ABC reality show featuring basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.

Here in East Texas is the same problem.

"He needed to lose some weight. He needed to be in a program that was very kid positive," said Leanne Knight mother of 16 year old Jonathan Knight.

About a year ago Jonathan joined Accelerate, a performance enhancement center.

"I've lost about 40 pounds since I came. Alot of hard work, watching what I eat. Little minimal things that have gone a really long way," said Jonathan.

Bobby Stroupe, Director of Accelerate, says it is a problem he sees often.

"Probably 20 percent of the teenage population has some form of a obesity problem. Fitness is most important before performance. We have to attack obesity and then we can get better performance from the athlete," Stroupe said.

Others are going a different route, nearly a million children under 17 are using personal trainers. Trainer Ross Campbell keeps the children moving with mostly cardiovascular activity. He said, however, it is much more than that.

"We are life coaches. We are teaching them healthy lifestyle. How to exercise, how to eat. Bottom line: how to burn more calories than they are taking in," Campbell said.

Whether a trainer or a group performance class, experts say children should aim for some form of exercise every day so a childhood problem doesn't last a lifetime.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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