• September 2020 - National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

    About 1 in 5 (19%) children in the United States has obesity. Certain groups of children are more affected than others. National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month provides a chance for all of us to learn more about this serious health condition. While there is no simple solution, there are many ways communities can support children with their journey to good health.

    Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem

    • Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.
    • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
    • Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.

    Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem

    • Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.
    • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
    • Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.

    Tips to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Develop healthy eating habits

    To help children develop healthy eating habits:
    • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
    • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products, including cheese and yogurt.
    • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
    • Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
    • Limit sugary drinks.
    • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.

    Remember that small changes every day can lead to success!

    Limit calorie-rich temptations

    Reducing the availability of high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can help your children develop healthy eating habits. Only allow your children to eat these foods rarely, so that they truly will be treats! Here are examples of easy-to-prepare, low-fat and low-sugar snacks that are 100 calories or less:
    • 1 cup carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers with 2 tablespoons hummus.
    • A medium apple or banana.
    • 1 cup blueberries or grapes.
    • One-fourth cup of tuna wrapped in a lettuce leaf.
    • A few homemade oven-baked kale chips.
     

    Help children stay active

    In addition to being fun for children, regular physical activity has many health benefits, including:
    • Strengthening bones.
    • Decreasing blood pressure.
    • Reducing stress and anxiety.
    • Increasing self-esteem.
    • Helping with weight management.

    Children ages 3 through 5 years should be active throughout the day. Children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should be physically active at least 60 minutes each day. Include aerobic activity, which is anything that makes their hearts beat faster. Also include bone-strengthening activities such as running or jumping and muscle-strengthening activities such as climbing or push-ups. See details.

    Remember that children imitate adults. Start adding physical activity to your own routine and encourage your child to join you.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/features/childhood-obesity/index.html
    https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html