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These are major factors of rising obesity among children | Wear The Gown

Before the pandemic, children gained an average of 3.4 pounds a year. That rose to 5.4 pounds during the pandemic.

SAN ANTONIO — Increased screen time and decreased physical activity were major factors in the rise of obesity during the pandemic, especially among children, experts say. 

Diabetes is an epidemic here in South Texas. Rather than stick with the isolation and inactivity of the pandemic, many parents are turning to youth sports camps to keep them active and healthy. 

Soph Sonnenlieter, the Super Tots Sports Camp Director told us, "60 percent of kids that are active in their childhood grow up to be active throughout their entire lives. So, that is incredibly important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle." 

Finding activities kids love, and turning them into games, is a great way to get kids active. Ally Reid, the Operating Manager of Skyhawks and Super Tots San Antonio said, "I think kids naturally love moving. When you find a game they love, it kind of clicks in their brain. It's a joy, you know." 

With more technology in the hands of youngsters, getting kids off their screens is becoming more difficult. That's why showing them the benefits of physical activities is extremely important. 

Sonnenlieter added, "If we keep them involved, active, excited, sports are awesome to do. They're great competition. You make friends, you interact with adults. It's something that kids naturally want to do."  

A recent CDC study found the pandemic accelerated childhood obesity. 

Before the pandemic 19% of children were considered obese. Six months into the pandemic, that rose to 22%. The obesity rate increased most dramatically in ages six to 11. Before the pandemic, children gained an average of 3.4 pounds a year. That rose to 5.4 pounds during the pandemic.

Helping kids find fun physical activities can go a long way in getting those numbers back down. Reid said, "We want to give kids a chance to find something they're passionate about and find something that can have a sense of belonging."  

For more information on family health call (210) 358-3045. You can also find more Wear The Gown stories here.

If you are looking to keep your child active during holiday breaks or seasonal breaks, the YMCA offers several programs of shorter length. You can check them out here.

To find out more about Skyhawks, click here.

To find out more about Super Tot Sports, click here.

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