Richmond leaders tackling obesity problem

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond City Health District leaders say the city is looking at an obesity epidemic. They say, one in every three adults in the city  are obese and now they are looking to stop this increasing trend.

"You got a lot of people that let their weight go to the wayside. I'm one of them. I'm trying to get myself together now," says dad Thomas Clayton. 

He's not only doing it for himself, but for his little three year old son Devon too. "The bigger the kids are when they are young, the worst their health is when they get older so parents need to watch their kids."

He says, that starts with feeding Devon with healthy food and keeping him active.

But sometimes,  the parents can only do so much. So now the Richmond City Health District is ready to step in and help out.

They already have some programs underway, but it hasn't stopped the problem. So new programs, like one called 'Body Works,' is in the works.

"To help parents develop good nutrition habits for teens and help with behavior for better lifestyles," says Charles Lee with the Health District.

Lee says helping the 30 percent of adolescence's in Richmond with their struggling weight is key. "With kids, if you address it now, we won't have to worry about the increase health insurance costs and they can live healthy long lifestyles and the same with the adults."

"I'll join. I hope it will be successful," says Clayton. 

The health district is also partnering with several organizations to form an obesity coalition.

While they do that, Thomas is on a mission. "It's hard for one because of my age. But I just got to stay on focus and work at it!"

To find out more about these programs, click here. Most are free and open to the public whether you are from Richmond or not.

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