March 13, 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- It has a long way to go, but new reports show that West Virginia is starting to turn around the epidemic of childhood obesity.
More than 27 percent of the state's fifth-graders were considered obese in 2011. But at a recent Voices for Health Kids Conference, officials said that's down 8.6 percent since 2005.
That makes West Virginia one of only five states showing a reversal.
The conference was organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting (http://bit.ly/1diY89s) says Nebraska, California, North Carolina and New Mexico have also seen drops in childhood obesity.
Though the rates are still high in West Virginia, some say any improvements are worth celebrating.
Voices for Healthy Kids aims to reverse the national epidemic by 2015.