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People run for childhood obesity prevention

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- People in the Borderland laced up their running shoes and hit the pavement Saturday morning to shine a light on childhood obesity.

About 30 people came out to the Marty Robbins Recreation Center in East El Paso for the childhood obesity prevention 5K.

Runner Melissa Olivarez said she knows firsthand how severe the problem is.

"I used to work in the school system and so we see it with kids in school and they're having a harder time. I know El Paso has this problem," said Olivarez.

That's why Olivarez said she's adamant about keeping her kids active.

According to the American Heart Association, about one in three American kids and teens are considered overweight or obese.

Olivarez puts a lot of the blame on busy schedules.

"With my husband and I both working full time, and then the kids and all of their schedules, the easiest thing is to get them fast food," said Olivarez.

Obesity causes a lot of health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type Two Diabetes. Doctors said these are conditions that could have life-long effects.

Runner Elsie Ramirez proves anyone can turn their life around with a little hard work.

"I was 220 pounds," said Ramirez.

When she reached her heaviest weight, Ramirez said she started eating healthier, hitting the gym three times a week and going for daily walks. Since then, she's lost 80 pounds.

"Oh my God, I mean, I couldn't walk. I had a hard time breathing and now it's like, I'm a runner. I run now," said Ramirez.

Ramirez says anytime she gets the chance to burn calories and support obesity-prevention she's in.
 

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