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Dangers of childhood obesity in Jefferson County
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
How far would you go to save your child's life?
What you do now, could prevent your child from developing heart disease, liver disease or even a stroke.
Here in Jefferson County, one out of three children are at risk because they're obese.
See what you can do to help keep your child living longer.
Take a close look, one out of three children you see here is likely to be obese or overweight.
A growing epidemic across the country.
"I think we're all very aware of these kids diets because of the increase in childhood obesity, it's scary," Dinah Bernsen a Beaumont grandmother says.
Concerns of health issues Dinah Bernsen has about her young grandsons.
"When I was growing up nobody paid attention to that, you had chocolate milk with your chocolate milk you know we just didn't know any better," Dinah says.
Now, the city of Beaumont is answering the call for a need of healthy lifestyle education.
The city currently has five gold medals for their efforts through the let's move campaign. This week they all pledged to do more.
"Weight affects every organ system in our body, it can effect our brain with depression, low self esteem, anxiety effect our heart and lungs, cholesterol, even liver inflammation, we're even concerned now that we'll run out of livers to transplant in folks because obesity related cirrhosis will overcome alcohol the number one reason for liver transplant," Dr. Stephen Pont, medical director of the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity.
Dangers children face as young as the age of two, but can be prevented with small changes.
"It doesn't cost anything to try and walk a little bit more, it doesn't cost anything to drink water instead of sodas so anyone regardless of your economic situation can make some changes no matter what," Dr. Pont says.
Small steps ingrained in this grandmother's life.
"It's not for looks, that certainly part of it but it's just being healthier in general," Bernsen said.
As part of the city's Let's Move campaign, it's partnering with Christus Hospital to host a kids triathlon followed by a children's festival May 31st.