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State Child Obesity Rate Rises

The ghosts and goblins who made the rounds Halloween night  are now enjoying the piles of candy they collected.   But Halloween comes along with a new scary fact.  This week the State’s Department of Health announced that childhood obesity is on the rise in South Dakota. The Health Department reports that almost 16-percent of the state’s under 19 population is now considered obese–that’s up slightly from last year.

There are two things everyone knows are essential in the battle against obesity--proper diet and exercise.   Kristin Biskeborn is the State Nutritionist.  She notes that the wonderful weather much of the state is enjoying this week is a great opportunity for kids to get outside and play.

“When the weather has been great get outside and enjoy our parks go for a walk or bike ride–all those things are good activities for kids,” says Biskeborn. 

Biskeborn says that besides physical activity combating obesity also means eating right by reducing sweets and beverages and increasing fruits and veggies.  She says children who learn good habits when they’re young will carry them into adulthood.

Biskeborn says the South Dakota Department of Heathhas two new resources to help with fight obesity. The Munch Code  offers healthy concessions information for schools and youth activities. Harvest of the Month  combines lessons and produce sampling to get kids eating more vegetables and fruit, one of six science-based strategies shown to prevent obesity.

The full student height weight report is available at