Get Fit with 6: Woman who lost 100 pounds now encouraging children to stay active, exercise

A Columbus County woman who lost 100 pounds is teaching the importance of a healthy lifestyle to children.
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 7:54 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Two years ago, Latrice Tatum made a commitment to lose weight and change her eating habits.

“Diabetes runs in my family and I decided that I didn’t want to get diabetes. I didn’t want to go through that, so I wanted to make a change for myself,” said Tatum.

She still exercises, walking five miles four days a week. Now she’s taking her message to children at East Arcadia Elementary School.

“I come out here once a week and help the kids with their exercising and teaching them about being healthy,” Tatum said.

According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, one out of six children in the U.S. is obese. Tatum recognizes that and wants to make a difference.

“A lot of times they want to stay at home and be watching TV and playing video games and getting them more active is the hardest part,” explained Tatum.

The class Tatum teaches is part of a Summer Enrichment program put on by volunteers, designed to keep kids exercising their bodies and minds.

“They have academics, they have lunch, they have sports and they have speech,” said Quessie Peterson, Summer Enrichment Program organizer.

Peterson also recognizes the need to get children more active and believes physical activity is a key part of good health.

“With the children now being so sedentary that they are looking at television, cartoons and things like that, having organized exercise is something that’s very healthy for them,” said Peterson.

One of the kids in the class is 11-year-old Kaiden Jones. He says he doesn’t play video games and is motivated to play outside.

“I want to be active, go outside. We got a pond in the back of my yard so we like to go fishing,” said Jones.

He thinks exercise is important and shared a couple of his favorites.

“I would say jumping jacks and push ups,” said Jones.

With a few twists, knee raises, and toe touches, these kids are taking their first steps to a healthy life and Latrice will continue to do what she can to keep them motivated for generations to come.

“My goal is to pretty much continue to help children and help other people with being more healthy and staying active,” Tatum added.