Dr. Jamie Jeffrey, a pediatrician at Charleston Area Medical Center who also helps run KEYS 4 Healthy Kids, said her group promotes healthy eating and living.
"Our motto is 5210. That stands for five servings of vegetables and fruit a day, two hours or less of [television] screen time, one hour of physical exercise a day and zero sweet beverages.
"When we started our [KEYS 4 Healthy Kids] Center, we found 49 percent of the children [we saw] between two and 14 were obese. Five years later, that rate dropped to 36 percent. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 have aligned with the national average."
The group, Jeffrey said, urges mothers to breast feed their babies and make sure all young children eat vegetables. The group also encourages schools to build gardens to help train students about local farming.
"A majority of [child] patients I see eat only one vegetable a day. And that is at school. We see adult diseases, like diabetes, in pediatric patients.
"Our goal is to increase the exposure of consumers to fresh, local food," Jeffrey said.
Gail Patton, executive director of Unlimited Future Inc. and president of Tri-State Local Foods, said, "Farmers aren't going to grow food if they can't make money."
Patton and her groups promote the development of local food markets like Wild Ramp in Huntington.
"We have 121 food producers and 90 percent of our customers live within a 50-mile radius of Huntington," she said. "Schools, houses and institutions are all customers.
"We also need farmers markets to increase distribution and profitability for farmers."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164