A new study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas presents disturbing statistics about the health of children in our state.
The report indicates 30 percent of kindergartners are overweight or obese.
While kids are participating in more physical activity and watching less TV, they are spending more time playing video games. Researchers believe there are more factors contributing to childhood obesity, however.
"Obesity is not hitting children when they're in middle school or high school, it's happening as early as kindergarten," said Amanda Boush-Deloye, senior research associate with the Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy. "We're steadily seeing more kids move from an overweight category into an obese category."
Researchers surveyed 7,000 families in Nevada's 17 school districts. Sixty percent of those families surveyed are in Clark County.
"If you have to make a choice between having food on the table for five days or having one meal, of course you're going to [put food on the table five days a week.] There are some sacrifices that you have to make," Boush-Deloye said.
Researchers said behavioral patterns exhibited by adults in a child's life play a role as well.
"As parents, as teachers, as people who administer programs to the children, the kids are watching what you eat. If they look up to you, they're going to want to eat what you eat. So if you reach for a Ho-Ho versus a banana, the kids are going to want that as well," Boush-Deloye said.
The report also found that 15 percent of children in Nevada are underweight because of malnutrition, indicating about 45 percent of children in our state are considered unhealthy.
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