More than $926,000 has been awarded to North Carolina by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help improve the health of preschoolers in the state.
The Kids Eat Smart Move More program promotes healthy eating and exercise among low-income families. The program provides balanced meals to tots at over 2,000 centers nationwide.
State health director Jeff Engel says starting children off on the right foot can save money in the long-run. Those who are overweight as children are likely to stay that way into adulthood.
"Helping young children be more healthy and active is critical to the future of public health in North Carolina," says Engel. "By promoting and teaching good health habits early on, we have the potential to reduce the burden of chronic diseases that stem from youth and adult obesity."
Obesity is a serious condition that can lead to other serious ailments as well as higher health and life insurance premiums. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.