Researchers at the University of Georgia have received funding to find ways to prevent or reduce childhood obesity.
Georgia ranks as the third worst state in the nation with more than one third of children overweight or obese according to a 2009 report by Trust for America's Health.
UGA researchers will be involved in projects aimed at improving the state's status.
In Athens-Clarke County, Phillip Tomporowski and Brian McCullik, faculty members in the department of kinesiology at UGA and Catherine Davis from the Medical College of Georgia will begin a project to introduce fun and effective exercise games into the Clarke County after-school curriculum.
In another project, researchers will work through the YMCA after-school projects in Colquitt County and the Healthy Colquitt Coalition to increase children's physical activity, healthy eating habits and family involvement which are all known strategies for reducing childhood obesity.
In Statesboro, a third project will use the Internet and social media to encourage physical activity in women during pregnancy and after childbirth. Research has shown a critical link exists between childhood obesity and the prenatal health behaviors and gestational weight gain of the mother.