Tips to prevent childhood obesity

Preventing childhood obesity begins with a healthy lifestyle for parents, says Richard Besser, the chief health and medical editor for ABC News.

Children typically copy what they see in adults, so to cut sugar and fat, parents should avoid drinking sodas and sports drinks around their children. Sugary drinks are an unnecessary calorie source, Besser says, and ones that drives childhood obesity. It's better to serve water or milk with meals, which should feature portions with 50 percent fruits and vegetables.

Exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet, and Besser says parents should encourage their children's playful interests. Riding a bicycle, playing a sport, or running in a game of tag are all valuable habits that stay with children as they grow older.

Post a comment below and tell us if you're passing on healthy habits in your family, and follow Besser on Twitter for more health tips.

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