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Maria Regina Students Address Problem Of Childhood Obesity

Students at Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale talked about childhood obesity and how to address it.
Students at Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale talked about childhood obesity and how to address it. Photo Credit: Danny LoPriore

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Results of a study on childhood obesity released Monday in JAMA Pediatrics magazine found that rates of obesity in children have been trending upward since 1999.

The decline of childhood obesity rates seen in several recent studies may be misleading, according to new research that studied 26,000 children age 2 to 19 in the United States who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Westchester teens, including Maria Regina junior Sita Sahdala, say children must develop good eating habits and be more active.

"I think parents should help their children become more active outdoors and less with indoor activities," Sahdala said. "Parents should also teach their children about healthy eating and nutrition and incorporate healthy foods in their own diets to set an example for their children."

Severe childhood obesity rates have more than doubled since 1999, according to the study.

"My opinion regarding childhood obesity is that it should be a main priority of parents, guardians and schools, especially those influencing young children and their actions," junior Laura Signorale said. "Because of the damaging effects to health and well-being, I feel children and even adults should watch what they eat and how much of it."

Signorale, who lives in Scasdale, said today's society does not focus on exercise and the quality of its food.

"Just the convenience fast food restaurants have to offer," she said. "A plan of action should be put in place to help raise a healthier generation and to destroy bad habits.

Julianna Feliciano of Greenburgh said children are eating snacks constantly and instead of exercising they sit and play video games for hours on end.

"I feel that parents should help their children to realize what the food they are putting into their body contains along with how to have proper nutrition," Feliciano said. "Every year Nickelodeon has a kids day of play where they do not show any television shows so kids are encouraged to go out side and become active. I feel that if this TV program did this more often and even other TV programs once a week, child obesity will greatly decrease."

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