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East St. Louis residents get moving to fight childhood obesity

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL -The East St. Louis community came together on Saturday to join the fight against childhood obesity.   The East St. Louis Family Fun 3K Walk was held at the Mary Brown Center.  Organizers say 1 in 5 children and adolescents are considered obese.  Illinois is one of 22 states with obesity rates at 30% or higher.

“It’s really important for people to understand how you can move and you can have fun doing it in a healthy way,” said Melody McClellan.  The Unwrap You’s coach and East St. Louis native co-sponsored the event along with the Leslie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, a United Way social services agency located in East. Louis.

“We’re talking about reducing diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” said McClellan.  “Moving 30 minutes a day makes a huge difference.”

Personal trainer Andre Valentine led walkers with stretching exercises.

“Everybody wants to look good and have their ideal body but ultimately it’s important for us all to be healthy,” said Valentine.

McClellan said it was gratifying to see so many people turn out for Saturday’s event and hopes they will continue to make healthy living a habit.