Sep 19, 2012 2:31 PM by KSBY News, Carina Corral

Kids Fitness Day aims to curb childhood obesity on the Central Coast

A local fitness trainer and pediatrician are coming together to tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity with the 1st Annual Kids Fitness Day.

Mike Robinson, owner of MZR Fitness in San Luis Obispo, teaches a fitness class to third graders at Bellevue-Santa Fe Elementary in Avila Beach, which includes a game of Red Light, Green Light. He knows when it comes to kids it is all about perception.

"If we say let's go run across the parking lot for exercise they wouldn't want to do that, but if you say let's do Red Light, Green Light they say 'ok, ok I want to do that.'"

The next thing the students know, they have run an entire field without realizing they are actually exercising.

It is also one way to play catch up to the out of control childhood obesity numbers.

In San Luis Obispo County, 30 percent of preschoolers are obese or overweight. The number jumps to 40 percent in school age children.

In Santa Barbra County, 43 percent of preschoolers and kindergartners fall into that category. In kids ages 5-20 the number jumps to 45 percent.

Those numbers are according to the public health departments.

"The best way of treating childhood obesity is preventing it," said Dr. Rene Bravo of Bravo Pediatrics in San Luis Obispo. He said television and video games are the biggest cause factors in overweight children.

It is a main reason he and Robinson joined forces to talk to kids, parents, and even teachers about getting up off the couch and staying active.

"We're not looking to make everyone thin because there's lots of genetic factors involved in your body mass and type, but what we want is to make sure to instill good habits in people," said Dr. Bravo.

"Basically we didn't see anything out there helping to educate kids so we decide to team up and find different ways we can give back to our community and we thought this would be a good start," said Robinson.

Kids Fitness Day is free. It is on Saturday, September 29 from 10:00am-11:00am at Laguna Middle School in San Luis Obispo.

There will be a panel discussion where parents can ask questions about fitness and healthy food choices, followed by a 25-minute workout geared toward kids.

Click here to register for the event, which KSBY is proud to sponsor.



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