By Mary Simms
EWA BEACH (KHNL) - Childhood obesity is a growing problem in Hawaii. One Keone'ula Elementary School parent says it's a problem made worse by food served at his son's after-school Y.M.C.A. program.
As these kids get in the mood to trick - or - treat, some have another treat coming. It's McDonald's Wednesday.
"In today's awareness of childhood obesity, McDonald's is just not an appropriate choice. We generally don't let him have McDonald's during non school times," said parent Kent Sharrar.
But McDonald's is one of several options for these kids.
"And when you take what we've put on there in its entirety, a hamburger, apple slices, apple juice, that fits very well into a normal diet, a heathy diet," said Y.M.C.A. Of Honolulu Vice President Mike Doss.
The "snack program" began six years ago, when brown-bagging parents requested an easier alternative.
"Our position is one of providing the parents convenience and options. Also, we want to educate the children from a nutritional standpoint on food and most any food can fit into a balanced diet," said Doss.
Mother of six, Blanche Dela Cruz, is grateful for the after-school program, and the food it provides.
"One it's cheap, it's a good way to budget and then when you pick them up at 5 o'clock you don't have to worry about dinner because they already had dinner," said Dela Cruz.
Although they don't agree on cutting fast food from the program, the "Y" agrees with Sherrar on one important issue.
"I don't think you can over react to childhood obesity, so i support what he's doing but on this particular issue we are on different sides of the fence."