Wisconsin childhood obesity rates lower than national average

WISCONSIN (WKBT) — A new report says Wisconsin’s childhood obesity rates are lower than the national average.

Over 16 percent of children across the nation age 10 to 17 are considered obese, but that percentage is over 14 percent in Wisconsin.

Experts say there are a number of factors that cause childhood obesity, like genetics and eating habits.

However, the issue may be caused at a larger level as food insecurity affects children’s health as well.

“If a child lived in an area that is considered a food desert, so there are no grocery stores that are in close proximity, then opportunities for healthy eating may be limited as well,” said Amanda Westphal, wellness education specialist at Gundersen Health System.

Westphal says that Wisconsin child obesity could easily rise without preventative measures.

Parents are encouraged to implement health habits for the whole family.