Summer brings on the pounds among kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Summer brings on the pounds among kids

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YMCA senior program director Mary Ganzel YMCA senior program director Mary Ganzel
YMCA day camper Kamryn Richardson YMCA day camper Kamryn Richardson
Dr. Bruce Smith of Southwest Georgia Pediatrics Dr. Bruce Smith of Southwest Georgia Pediatrics
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

School's out so let the fun begin. 

"Summertime was a time to get out of the classroom, get outside, play, run," said YMCA senior program director Mary Ganzel

And that's what some kids do, they find new, exciting activities to immerse themselves in.

"Swimming is different, swimming makes exercise more fun than it actually is,"  YMCA day camper Kamryn Richardson said.

But not all kids share the same passion. A recent study reveals that its during the 3 month vacation when children start tipping the scale, a little over 30% are considered overweight and 17% obese, and the problem could get worse. 

 

Ganzel says technology is partly to blame, seducing youngsters to stay glued to the glowing screens.

"I rarely see anyone putting down their phone and doing a couple of jumping jacks," Richardson said.

Pediatricians say it's common to see more kids visit their office for appointments related to weight gain. 

"If you think that a weekend is when you can relax your dietary rules for your children, the summer is one long weekend. And so I'm seeing kids who are eating fast food meals a lot," said Dr. Bruce Smith of Southwest Georgia Pediatrics 

Dr. Bruce Smith believes its also a cultural influence, especially in the South where hypertension and diabetes is prevalent.

Health professionals recommend to instill good eating habits and exercise at a young age, allowing kids to get a head start on tackling the problem at its core. 

"I know I have to do it and if I don't, I know I'm going to have some type of health issue, " Richardson said.

Ganzel feels its also the responsibility of parents to ensure their child is on the right track. 

"[Parents] are the ones that go out and they shop, parents are the ones that go out and prepare the meals. So, we encourage parents to learn more about lifestyle change," Ganzel said. 

Trading out the video games for basketball games, so they can gain points instead of pounds.



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