A new study shows an increase in children with high blood pressure, which researchers attribute to obesity and sodium. Yellowstone County is taking a stand.
"I'd have to say my favorite salty snack are those little hundred calorie things of popcorn," said Ethan Borst, a fitness camp participant.
Guilty pleasures have contributed to increasing national obesity rates by an alarming 39 percent. The latest statistics show that obesity rates for adults have increased by 3 percent from 2005 to 2010 in Yellowstone County. But childhood obesity has decreased by 2 percent.
Locally, the Healthy by Design Alliance is pushing for healthy weight. A collaboration between Riverstone Health, St. Vincent Healthcare, and Billings Clinic, has been spreading the message.
Laura Holmlund is the physical activity and nutrition coordinator for Riverstone Health. She has been a part of the healthy weight initiative.
"They are targeting the entire population of Yellowstone County, reaching those groups however and whenever we can."
The initiative has been saturating the county with a plan to maintain a healthy weight: 5-2-1-0.
"This message is an easy thing for people to memorize and to question themselves every day," Holmlund said.
It calls for five fruits, two hours less of recreational screen time, one hour of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks a day.
"If the entire population of Yellowstone County were to adopt this practice of 5-2-1-0 for their daily life, we would have greatly improved health statistics and health performance across the community," she said.
The Alliance has been working with doctor's offices and schools to spread the message.