Jul 2, 2014 7:53 PM by Aja Goare - Q2 News

Kids combat childhood obesity with creativity and video camera

BILLINGS - We hear it all the time, kids nowadays spend too much time inside in front of the TV and not enough time outside on the playground.

But a pair of sisters are using the TV to get their friends outside.

In a Billings Overcome Childhood Obesity campaign video, 7-year-old Leila chases her 5-year-old sister Emma down the street with a 5lb bag of sugar in her arms, and it's no easy task.

"That might be what would be inside of you," said Leila Ornsby. "You might feel really heavy. It felt really heavy for me and I thought that might be how I would feel if I was obese and I wouldn't want to feel like that forever."

It's a feeling 30% of Montana kids know all too well.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three children across the state are overweight or obese, a growing problem in the U.S.

So Billings Clinic asked Yellowstone County kids to help combat this epidimic with a little creativity and a video camera.

"We really wanted to publicize the problem of childhood obesity and come up with a way that was sort of innovative," said Billings Clinic Pediatrician Claire Kenamore, creator of the contest. "And rather than come up with a way that was sort of innovative, we thought kids would be very innovative."

This call for innovation was answered by Leila and Emma.

They polled neighbors, family and friends.

"We said like how would you feel if you were obese? My friend Jordan said, I wouldn't feel good, I wouldn't be able to exercise and play with my friends and that would be really sad," said Leila.

The girls considered donning a fat suit and a few other larger than life ideas, but in the end a 5lb of sugar was the secret ingredient to this impactful message:

"Get healthy, don't stay inside wasting time eating potato chips," said Leila. "Get outside and be active."

"What we're trying to do is just get people thinking about it. We know one video isn't going to cure childhood obesity," said Kenamore. "But we had a lot of kids thinking about childhood obesity, a lot of parents thinking about childhood obesity helping their kids with the videos. Now we're showing these videos."

The winning video, along with other video entries are posted online at www.healthykids.billingsclinic.org.


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