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Childhood obesity rates on the rise across the country and at home

By WKTV News

ONEIDA COUNTY A study conducted by the New York State Department of Health concluded 7th through 10th graders in Oneida County have the highest obesity rates in the state.

Experts say one of the largest contributing factors is the poverty rates in Oneida County.

In Utica, 29% of people are living below the poverty line. In Rome, the rate is 15% compared to the statewide average of 14%.

"People living under the poverty line have less food options, less money to pay for food, very often they live in food desserts where they don't have a lot of choices for grocery stores," said Catherine Bullwinkle, Quality Improvement Coordinator. "They might not have access to farmers markets where they have fresh fruits or vegetables."

In general, people are also using their cellphones, computers, and watching television much more compared to 30 years ago.

So how do we reverse the trend?

Experts suggest beginning by cutting down on sugary drinks and replacing with water, seltzer, unsweetened tea, or non-fat milk.

Also, children should be exercising a minimum of one hour a day.

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