Study finds 20 percent of third-graders in Ohio to be overweight

TOLEDO, Ohio - A statewide study that measured thousands of Ohio third-graders has found that one in five are overweight.

And another 17 percent of the children studied are at risk of becoming overweight.

The state health department oversaw the study, which was the first that broke down childhood obesity levels by county. More than 14,000 third-graders from 387 schools were measured and weighed from October 2004 to June 2005.

Health officials say the study showed that children who were eligible for free and reduced-price school meals -- generally from poorer families -- were more likely to be overweight. So were students from rural counties.

Doctors say that obesity in children has been linked to increased cases of Type Two diabetes and high blood pressure.

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