Obesity rate for Wisconsin children ticks up

CREATED Feb 26, 2014

  • Print
  • Play

MILWAUKEE - The number of overweight preschoolers is falling across the country. But Wisconsin is seeing a different picture.  The obesity rate for little ones, age two to five who live in Wisconsin actually went up while the rest of the country was making improvements.

We met with Lisette Martin and her three year old son who is the picture of health Wednesday.
 
"We eat chicken, vegetables, broccoli.  He loves that broccoli," said Martin.
 
After a busy day at Discovery World, he's snacking on blueberries and oranges, something researchers think will set him up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. But, in Wisconsin, parents are having a harder time than the rest of the country with passing along this healthy diet.
 
"Parents tend to give it to 'em, they don't eat it, then they just don't give it to 'em anymore and they say like seven times before kids will actually eat it. So, how many times do you want to feed them spinach if they're not gonna eat it?" said Angie Conto, mom of a toddler.
 
In the last ten years, the number of obese toddlers dropped 43 percent nationwide according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  But in Wisconsin, the obesity rate for this age group actually went up slightly from 13.6 percent in 2008 to 14 percent in 2011.  One culprit could be convenience-type foods.
 
"Anything that's sort of packaged to be quick on the go tends to have a lot of high fat, high sugar to provide the energy and the convenience," said Dr. SuJean Choi at Marquette University.
 
In addition to good foods, activities that keep kids active, are a must.