HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A call for action on childhood obesity has been launched in Connecticut.

As WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reported, childhood obesity rates in Connecticut are among the highest in the country. It is a problem especially among Hispanic and African-American kids.

Judith Meyers, who heads the Child Health and Development Institute, said parents need to know it’s never too early to take precautions against child weight gain.

“To get a handle on this problem, we need to start at the earliest point in a child’s life, even in pregnancy if not before,” she said.

Meyers said it is important that mothers breastfeeding their children carefully watch their own diets, eating foods high in protein and low in fats. She noted that being overweight in childhood often leads to a lifetime of obesity.

A recent report revealed Connecticut is seriously lacking in efforts to control the problem.