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    Delaware child obesity rates hold steady

    Pre-schoolers in Delaware may be eating fewer Tater Tots and getting a little more exercise these days. WHYY reports some good news about child obesity in the First State.

    Pre-schoolers in Delaware may be eating fewer Tater Tots and getting a little more exercise these days. WHYY reports some good news about child obesity in the First State.

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    The percentage of overweight or obese children stayed about the same between 2006 and 2008, according to a survey from the children’s health group Nemours. Experts say that’s worth celebrating considering that child obesity rates are on the rise nationally.

    Debbie Chang leads health policy at Nemours. Her group worked with state health officials to promote the “Five-Two-One-Almost None” message at child care centers, schools and pediatricians offices.

    Chang: It’s that you eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day, at least one hour of physical activity a day – not all at once but throughout the day, and almost no sugar-sweetened beverages, and by that, we mean two or less during the week.

    Chang says Delaware’s fight against child obesity gives caretakers the tools they need to change the environment, so kids can make healthier choices.

    As example, Delaware has new rules about what child care centers can serve kids. Children get more whole grains, less fruit juice — and fewer fried foods, such as Tater Tots, are allowed.

    The director of Delaware’s Division of Public Health says the state’s prevention effort is a community-wide push.

    In addition to the new nutrition guidelines for child care centers, 62 percent of all Delaware schools now offer at least 2 and a half hours of physical exercise each week.

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