Ex-NFL player Clinton Hart tackles childhood obesity

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At a time when some football players are saying they don’t want their kids playing the sport because of the risks involved, one former NFL player says the biggest risk to kids’ health come when parents don’t encourage them to be active at all.

Clinton Hart, who played defensive back for the Eagles, Chargers and Rams from 2003 to 2009, now works as a personal trainer in Ocala, Florida. And while he trains adults for a living, he trains groups of children for free. Because he says the enormous increase in childhood obesity, which has more than tripled in the last 30 years, has to be stopped.

“I’ll walk around Wild Waters and see somebody and think to myself, ‘this has to stop,’” Hart told Ocala.com. “It’s a shame because you know that kid is going to grow up and wish we could’ve stopped them. It’s on their parents to get them involved and away from the TV and video games.”

Hart makes clear that he believes parents need to do more to encourage their children to participate in healthy activities.

“One way I can help kids is through their parents,” he said. “Kids tend to model themselves after their parents.”

And Hart is doing what he can to model healthy behaviors for kids in his community.