Mother, daughter start healthy cooking class to tackle childhood obesity

ATLANTA — Childhood obesity is up since the pandemic began.

Channel 2′s Lori Wilson spoke to a local mother and daughter who took the challenge head on.

Through their community kitchen, Chef Ashley and her mom, Vanetta Keyes, teach families how to make their favorite foods healthier.

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They had to make the change because 20 years ago, Chef Ashley was classified as obese.

“After I would get home from work, we would go out and eat, and I did not realize how much salt, fat, and sugar was in the foods that we were eating out,” Ashley said. “At 16 I was a type 2 diabetic. I had high blood pressure, so I was having to give myself insulin shots in high school.”

Keyes, her mother, says she wasn’t surprised to learn that. Since the pandemic, according to the State of Childhood Obesity Report, the disease is up more than 3% across the country.


it did not surprise me... because these were kids that were used to running around on the playground. kids were used to moving more... and using screens less...and getting healthy meals at schools,” Keyes said.

So she started C.H.O.I.C.E.S., the center helping obesity in children end successfully.

Chef Ashley, who has lost 125 pounds, says everyone can be healthier, one bite at a time.

“Just one time a week, if you can cook with your child, it’s a challenge. That’s one time they will not be eating processed food,” Ashley said.

Keyes suggests parents use the “5-2-1-0″ rule:

  • Five fruits and vegetables a day
  • Only two hours of screen time
  • One hour of outdoors
  • Zero sugary drinks

For more information on the CHOICES healthy cooking classes, click here.

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