Study: Kids gain more weight during summer months

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Study: Kids gain weight in summer
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Study: Kids gain weight in summer - Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 19, 2019.

With warmer weather and more freedom, you would think kids have healthier habits during the summer, but a new study shows a lot of kids actually gain weight when school's out.

The study followed more than 200 kids over six years. It found time away from school led to kids eating less fruits and vegetables, and drinking more sugary drinks. This was especially true for lower-income families.

Other factors that led to weight gain include more sedentary time, such as playing videos games, and more access to junk food.

Dietitians say to avoid unhealthy habits, try to keep some structure during the summer and be aware of what kinds of foods are available.

"I think the biggest thing for parents is still having a set schedule for meals. So still sevring breakfast, lunch, dinner, one or two snacks throughout the day, but having it be a little more structured, that way kids also know what to expect; they're not going to just think that they have free reign to things at any time during the day," said Jennifer Hyland, R.D. Cleveland Clinic.

Summer is also a great time to shop at local farmer's markets or buy produce that's in season - that will also help your family eat healthy while staying on a budget.

When it comes to activity, try to limit kids' screen time during the summer and encourage them to play outside - it's a good idea for everyone.