CLEVELAND — New information on childhood obesity is out from to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
With data collected between 2019-2020, the report found 16.2% of kids ages 10-17 had obesity nationwide. In Ohio, the average was 17.2%.
A local man is working to fight back against this epidemic. Calvin Love helped his 12-year-old cousin seven years ago overcome a weight problem.
“At that time, he weighed 305 pounds and unfortunately he was overweight and too big to participate in organize sports,” said Love. “So I started taking him to the gym with me, then after two weeks, he lost 25 pounds.”
Now, Love has his own gym in Cleveland called Little Giant Gym where he’s been able to teach kids how to be healthy and active.
“It’s so gratifying just to see the change in them, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well,” Love said.
In one class, kids kick and jump their way through extreme hip-hop.
“It’s a class where they use step boards to facilitate the class. It incorporates calisthenics and different types of movements so it really keeps the children engaged and also they’re moving to some of their favorite music,” said Love.
In Cuyahoga County, an Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey found 51% of children in lower income families aged 12-17 are overweight or obese.
“We can only do so much in here in our facilities, (and) 90% of your goals and results come from proper eating,” Love said.
Love said the best way to get your kid active is to start at home with fun games or playing outside.
“We have technology and video games and things of that nature and our children begin to start living a sedentary lifestyle,” Love said.