National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
About 1 in 5 children in the United States has obesity. This month is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, giving us all a chance to learn about this serious health condition, and the ways that we can support children with their journey to good health.
Children with obesity are at a higher risk of having other chronic health conditions like asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and type 2 diabetes. Children with obesity are likely to have it as adults as well, which can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems.
Childhood Obesity is influenced by Many Factors
There are many things that can impact childhood obesity, like eating, physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism and family and home environments. For some children and families, obesity may look like:
- Too much time spent being inactive
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of places to go in the community to get physical activity
- Easy access to inexpensive, high calorie foods and sugary beverages
- Lack of access to affordable, healthier foods
Help Prevent Obesity and Support Health Growth
"It’s important for children to eat healthy nutritious foods that are going to help them grow. Parents can try and have family meals together, control portion sizes and choices, and avoid fast food services,” says Matthew Walker, PA-C.
There are plenty ways to prevent childhood obesity from happening. We want to make sure that we are supporting our children and creating healthy lifestyle habits. Here are some ways that can be done:
- Be aware of your child’s growth
- Provide nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables
- Make sure drinking water is always available
- Help children get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day
- Make sure your child has healthy sleep habits
- Be a role model! Eat healthy meals and snacks, and be active outside
- Schedule yearly visits with their physician to help track their health
It’s important that we pay attention to the foods we are serving our children and how much time we are spending outside.We have a team of physicians and nutritionists that can help your kids and your whole family get on track with their health. Call or text us to schedule an appointment with one of them at 509-488-5256