By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Obesity continues to be a huge problem in this country. Dr. Mallika Marshall reports on three weight-related stories beginning with a simple step parents can take at home to help their children avoid becoming overweight.

Early to bed, early to rise makes a young child healthy in size. In other words, putting your child to bed at a reasonable hour not only helps prevent crankiness but can also reduce excessive weight gain.

READ MORE: Large Search Underway Near Newburyport Boat Club For Missing Man Kevin Mahoney

Researchers at Ohio State found that preschoolers who go to bed by 8:00 PM are far less likely to become obese teens. Those who hit the sack after 9:00 PM double their chances of being obese.

Why do you seem to do better on some diet plans and worse on others? Your genes may be to blame. Researchers looked at mice with four different genetic strains to see how they responded to four different meal plans, a Mediterranean diet, a low-carb diet, a Japanese diet and a typical western diet.

READ MORE: Trial For Man Charged With Killing Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon Set To Begin

The effects of the diets varied significantly depending on the genetics and no single diet plan was optimal for all of the mice.

And according to new research, the more overweight you are, the shorter your life expectancy.

On average, people who are overweight lose about one year of life expectancy. Those who are moderately obese lost about three years. And severely obese people live on average 10 years less than normal weight individuals.

MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments

The risk to men is about three times higher for men than women with the same body mass index.

Dr. Mallika Marshall