State childhood obesity rates decrease in Georgia - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

State childhood obesity rates decrease in Georgia

Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Although childhood obesity rates have been on the decline in Georgia, officials say they still have much work to do to improve young people's health.

Officials at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta say parents' attitudes continue to pose a barrier to improving childhood obesity in the state. Mark Wulkan, surgeon-in-chief at Children's, says more education is needed to make sure parents recognize when kids need help.

As commissioner for the Georgia Department of Public Health, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald also is trying to send consistent messaging about fitness and nutrition throughout Georgia's public school system.

Last year, only 16% of Georgia's children passed the state's 5-part Fitnessgram test. About 43% of students were measured at an unhealthy weight, while 20% couldn't pass any component of the test.

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