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Looking For Ways to Tackle the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

It's an alarming statistic,32 percent of children in Broome County are overweight or obese and the costly impact on the community has sparked a discussion among local leaders.

On Thursday members of the United Way of Broome County, the Conrad and Virginia and Klee Foundation, and the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition hosted a childhood obesity summit.

Nationwide one out of three children are overweight or obese, a rate that has tripled over the last thirty years. Officials say obesity is not only a public health issue, but it costs a considerable amount in medical bills.

Judi Peckham Executive Director of KLEE Foundation said, "Riding bicycles, we have a bike program that's a part of this that fixes old bikes and gives them to kids. We have nutrition classes, food cooking for families and children. Some of the mother's have spoken up and said I'm surprised at what my child can do in the kitchen."

Officials say that obesity costs over 150 billion dollars per year in the United States in direct medical costs and another 70 billion in indirect costs.