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CHILDHOOD OBESITY: Encourage activity to help curb obesity

Childhood obesity is a big issue in communities across America. Too many kids stay inside and play video games instead of running around in this big world of ours.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12-19 years who were obese increased from 5 percent to nearly 21 percent over the same period.

One way to combat childhood obesity is to encourage kids to stay active and involved with #athletic pursuits.

I’ve helped combat childhood obesity by encouraging my little brother in his athletic pursuits. I met Savion Culpepper through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Savion and I bonded over weightlifting and football training. We would find a field anywhere in Lansing and push tires or go jogging, encouraging each other and building our friendship. It was very gratifying to see Savion get in great shape and eventually be named a starter on the Everett High School football team.

Here are ways you can encourage the young person in your life to stay active:

  • Encourage them to join local gyms and sports teams

  • Teach them the finer points of sports (i.e how to swing a #golf club, how to shoot a #basketball, how to use proper weight lifting techniques)

  • Encourage them to go outside.


Graham Filler is an assistant attorney general, specializing in policy and administrative law. A resident of Dewitt, Graham is proud to serve as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.


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