Valley doctor helps kids lose weight

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

It's that time of year. Kids are heading back to school and about 17 percent of those kids are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But there are some simple ways to get your kids off on a healthy note:

Valley doctor Sopia Fountis, who wrote the book, A Healthier Weigh, said parents should try to pack their kids' lunch everyday.

"We need to start thinking about ... the cafeteria menu. Does this look healthy to me? Maybe what we should do pack our lunch," said Fountis.

Then kids don't waste time standing in line at the cafeteria and it gives them more time to play at recess. Also, if kids bring food, they are less likely to eat out of the vending machine.

Snacks can also pose a problem for kids. Dr. Fountis said 30 years ago, children were having one snack a day that averaged about 200 calories. Today, kids generally eat more snacks.

"Now we're having, on an average, six snacks per day. It's amazing. So we're getting about 200 calories for every snack, on average, even up to 400 calories on some of those snacks ... minimum 1,200 calories that we forgot we even ate," said Fountis.

Also, Dr. Fountis said to get rid of processed food and energy drinks. Try to drink as much water as possible.

It may be a little harder to eat healthy when you go out to eat, but Dr. Fountis said you just need to know how to order.

"We don't need to look at the children's menu. Look at the real menu. We've got hot dogs and macaroni and cheese and fried foods and fried this ... and then the token apple on the dish," said Fountis.

Fountis also said it's important to exercise an hour a day, seven days a week. A recommendation she gives for kids and adults alike.

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