Kennewick Schools Fighting Obesity - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Schools Fighting Obesity

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KENNEWICK, Wash--  We've all felt it--Sluggish, lazy.  And parents might look past it during the summer months; at least kids are out being active.  But what about today, when cold temperatures coupled with holiday feasts help pack on the pounds?

"The American way of life has not really paid much attention to this obesity until recently," says pediatrician and endocrinologist Dr. Nikom Wannarachue.

Which is alarming.  Studies show 1 in 4 children in Washington is  obese.

"There's no doubt that nowadays the incident of childhood obesity has increased significantly."

Something the Kennewick school district is hoping to end.

"Try to incorporate fitness and fitness concepts, lifetime health, lifetime wellness," saus Eric Gough, a fitness and health teacher at Kamiakin High School.

It's called Five for Life.  It's a new district-wide fitness program  that's come to life thanks to an $800,000 grant.  And it's all there--dumbbells, jump ropes, medicine balls.  All the students have to do is get up and try.

"The sooner you can get them the better off they're going to be and the idea is to make these activities fun so they enjoy doing them," adds Gough.

It is important to track your child's weight over time, and not ignore it.

"You know that they are overweight--they look more chubby, as time goes by they can get real more heavier than the other children," says Dr. Wannarachue.

And a number of doctors say there is an answer

"The way to combat childhood obesity is changing lifestyle."

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