National obesity levels are on the rise.
And because Iowa has the 20th highest obesity rate in the United States, according to a recent report conducted by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, local officials and organizations are taking steps to ensure children remain active through recreational and educational programs.
"The study kind of ranks us and lets us know where we are on the trend," said Doug Beardsley, the director of Johnson County Public Health Department. "We're getting more obese, and that's further evidence that something needs to be addressed."
And though Iowa only ranks 46th in childhood obesity, experts said parents' habits often trickle down to their children, causing mental, physical, and financial problems later in life.
"[Childhood obesity] has effects that reach their entire life from their education to emotional well-being," said Albert Lang, the communications manager for Trust for America's Health.
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