Martial artists fight childhood obesity

Over the past two decades childhood and adolescent obesity has risen at an alarming rate. Here are just some of the statistics:Currently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for pre-school children age 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years, and it has more than tripled for children ages 6-11. Additionally, more than 75% of children ages 6-11 do not eat the minimum requirement of three vegetable servings or two fruits daily. Nearly one-third of US children ages 4-19 eat fast food everyday. Fast food consumption has increased five fold among children since 1970. And finally, for children in grades 9-10 over one-third do not participate in daily activity. "At Team Chip TaeKwonDo Centers we are waging war on this problem that threatens the youth of our community and country," said Instructor Lonnie Mendez. "We can make a difference!"Team Chip TaeKwonDo Center in Abilene will host a candy exchange on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Sweetwater location, 1500 Cypress Street. Those interested can receive one free week of classes for each pound of candy donated up to six pounds.In 2010, Team Chip TaeKwonDo Centers ended up receiving almost 500 pounds of candy. "This equates to almost six years worth of TaeKwonDo classes that were given away free," said Mendez. "Our goal for 2011 is 1,000 pounds of candy."Arrangements have been made through Dyess Air Force Base for all the candy to be shipped in small boxes to the U.S. soldiers in Iraq, as care packages to show support to the troops.