Metro Mom Takes on Child Obesity

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that two- thirds of Americans are overweight. That isn't sitting well with one metro mom.

In 2011, Meka Wesley's family got a health overhaul. The mom of three created a workout for her entire family. She'd make up songs and the kids would help with dance steps.

"I started the song, just making fun of myself," Wesley said. "After I had kids, I gained a lot of weight. So, I started with 'Crunch, Don't Munch."

Her kids' friends began joining in and eventually it became a neighborhood activity until she ran out of space in her driveway. Now, her Crunch Don't Munch Program meets during a few after school programs and at the community center in Grandview.

"When we do 'Crunch Don't Munch' it's a different," Wesley said. "It's fun and creative so you don't feel like you're working out. I want people to know that you can work out and not feel like it's an actual workout."

While fun is part of it - Meka says the main goal is helping to reduce the childhood obesity rate, which has tripled in the last 30 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, around one-third of kids are overweight or obese.

Because poor health is often a family issues, Wesley encourages parents to workout with their kids in her Saturday class. It's become a ritual for families like Ralph Washington and daughter Divine.

"It's something Divine enjoys doing because it's dancing plus aerobics," Washington said.  "She likes to dance. I like exercising. I like being with her to do it."

"It's fun because you get to move your body every Saturday," Divine Washington said.

Wesley says that's what she likes to hear. She feels if kids can be taught to be healthy early on, they'll have a better chance at becoming healthy adults.

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