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Health Minute: Childhood Obesity

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WPSU’s Health Minute is a collaboration with Penn State’s Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing.

Childhood obesity threatens the health of young Americans, and the COVID-19 pandemic may have made it worse.

Before the pandemic, obesity affected more than 14 million children and adolescents from 2 to 19 years old, with higher rates of obesity for Hispanic and Black children. During the pandemic, the rate of body mass index (BMI) increase nearly doubled.

Factors that contribute to childhood obesity include behavior, genetics, and community circumstances, such as access to healthy food and safe places for physical activity. To promote the health of all children, serve fruits and vegetables and encourage water consumption. Promote good sleep habits and physical activity. For more information, search childhood obesity facts at

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Emily Reddy is the news director at WPSU-FM, the NPR-affiliate public radio station for central and northern Pennsylvania.