• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 36s

Alaska focusing on kids to combat obesity

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Nick Swann - 10:31 PM June 5, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Obesity is one of the most complex and costly health concerns facing Alaskans and according to a new study by the University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, the problem is getting worse.

Obesity rates among Alaska adults are on the rise, but the upward trend seems to have leveled off in kids.

Still, that’s where the Alaska Obesity Prevention and Control Program is putting its focus, working to keep overweight children from becoming obese adults.

Arianna Mestas, 3, is a master at keeping her mother moving.

Together they try to do something active every day, because Rebecca Mestas knows it’s harder to make healthy decisions when you haven’t for years.

“That’s what I’m hoping, that if we get started young then she won’t have to worry about losing weight like I do as an adult,” Mestas said. “It’s a lot easier to get those habits down now then it will be in the future.”

Kids could be the future of the 49th state’s growing obesity rate, according to Alaska’s Obesity Prevention and Control Program.

One third of Alaska kids are overweight or obese.

“When kids are obese the chances of them becoming not obese adults is low. Eighty percent of them are going to remain obese into adulthood,” said Karol Fink, program manager for the Obesity Prevention and Control Program.

A new state report shows obesity-related medical bills total a half billion dollars in spending every year.

But there is some good news.

“What the report shows is, yes, an investment in childhood obesity prevention makes a difference and will result in medical care costs savings down the line,” Fink said.

That means the state may soon start pumping even more money into efforts encouraging kids to eat healthy and stay active, so that Arianna and others will learn early on in life that they don’t have to be part of the nation’s upward obesity trend.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Fairbanks priest indicted on child exploitation charges

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 16:10

    Placed on leave earlier this year while under investigation by the FBI, a Fairbanks priest has now been indicted for child exploitation. Friday, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office announced 57-year-old Clint Michael Landry was formally charged with attempted production of child pornography and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. According to court documents, Landry […]

  • On-Air

    Mic Check in the Morning: Jonathan J. Bower

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 14:08

    Friday in the KTVA 11 Studios, Jonathan J. Bower gave Daybreak a sneak peek into his new album, “Hope, Alaska” for Mic Check in the Morning. Bower will perform Friday, Oct. 24 at Studio 2200 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26 at Anchorage Community Works at 3 p.m.

  • News

    Don Young apologizes at AFN for suicide comments

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 12:19

    Last updated 1:40 p.m. Rep. Don Young, who recently came under fire for his comments about suicide at a Wasilla high school earlier this week, publicly apologized at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Friday. In a speech, Young said he gives the issues of suicide and mental illness “a high priority,” listing his co-sponorship […]

  • News

    Lanterns with positive message surprise drivers, air traffic controllers

    by Hope Miller on Oct 24, 11:48

    Paper lanterns were launched into the sky in East Anchorage Thursday night with a message of hope for victims of domestic violence. The lanterns, however, came as a surprise to some in the area, causing officials to briefly reroute airplane traffic at Merrill Field. “Shed the Light” is an event aimed at starting the conversation […]

  • On-Air

    Mic Check in Morning: East High School Ukulele Society for Better Living

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 10:19

    A group of students at an Anchorage high school is inspiring others through the sound of music. The East High School Ukulele Society for Better Living performed live for Daybreak’s Mic Check in the Morning.

  • On-Air

    Get Out: Putters Wild

    by Brett Shepard on Oct 24, 9:23

    Last week I went disc golfing out at Kincaid Park. This week I’m back to a more traditional style of golf and I’ve brought a friend along. Janessa Webb joined me for this Get Out and we challenged each other to a friendly game of golf. “Here we have 18 holes of blacklight mini golf. There’s […]

  • News

    Seismologists study earthquakes near Minto

    by Associated Press on Oct 24, 9:06

    The Alaska state seismologist says big things may be coming from faults near the village of Minto about 50 miles west of Fairbanks. The third earthquake of at least magnitude 5.0 since Aug. 30 rocked the area Thursday. State seismologist Michael West tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the area has become “very vigorous” and faults […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Oct. 24

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 24, 8:40

    Friday brings a little more cloud coverage along with light rain and snow by afternoon. Clouds will start to fade away as we head into Saturday afternoon with Sunday being the day where sunshine will shine bright. Highs today will be in the upper-30s to low-40s with light winds. A storm system out of the […]