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South Dakota's child obesity rate rises

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PIERRE (AP) -- Childhood obesity in South Dakota rose slightly during the 2011-2012 school year, with more than 15 percent of kids younger than 19 reported as obese.

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The South Dakota Department of Health reports that 15.9 percent of children younger than 19 are obese in South Dakota, up slightly from 15.2 percent the previous year.

Health officials say obesity rates are up among all age groups. Still, South Dakota's rate is below the national obesity rate of 19.6 percent for children 19 and under.

State Nutritionist Kristin Biskeborn called the increase disappointing. She says overweight and obese children become obese adults who develop more chronic disease than their peers who had healthy weights as children.

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