Lots of ways to fight obesity among children
8/30/2013, 6:52 a.m.
One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese, and a range of organizations will shine the spotlight on the epidemic and ways to fight it with National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month activities in September.
Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, public health experts say.
The good news? Childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and move more. They can spread the word about strategies for preventing childhood obesity and encourage others to get involved.
A few ideas to get started:
-- Encourage families to make small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within their children’s reach or going on a family walk after dinner.
-- Motivate teachers and administrators to make schools healthier by providing quality nutrition and making sure physical activity is a part of every student’s day.
-- Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by supporting programs to prevent childhood obesity.
-- Add information about obesity prevention to your newsletter.
-- Tweet about National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – #childobesity.
-- Host a community event where families can be active while learning about local health resources.
-- Become a partner of We Can! a national movement to help children ages 8 to 13 stay at a healthy weight.
Parents can get the kids involved in planning and cooking healthy meals. Visit http://1.usa.gov/hnuGz4 for more tips. Make creative snacks for your kids, like “ants on a log” (celery with peanut butter and raisins). For more ideas, visit http://1.usa.gov/oFIXRJ. Ten tips for healthy meals, like making half your plate veggies and fruits, can be found at http://1.usa.gov/x7oJE3.
For help on reducing your child’s screen time, visit http://1.usa.gov/69My6u. Put at least 60 minutes of physical activity in your child’s day. Get tips at http://1.usa.gov/3wnZMl.
Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have almost tripled. To help your child stay at a healthy weight, visit http://1.usa
Parents also can make a physical activity plan for the whole family. Visit http://1
.usa.gov/bg6vTr to learn more.
More ideas to increase awareness:
-- Host a community cleanup event to help make a neighborhood park a safer place for children to play and be active.
-- Promote farm-to-school programs and school gardens. Encourage schools to join the HealthierUS School Challenge.
-- Host a community fitness event where families can be active while learning about local health and fitness resources.
-- Set an example by talking with family members and friends about eating healthy, getting enough physical activity, and limiting screen time.
-- Share resources from Let’s Move! with local health clinics and community centers.
For more information and materials, visit the American College of Sports Medicine at www.acsm.org, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, and Let’sMove.gov.