Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: What You Should Know
Did you know that more than four million children are born in the United States each year? When people look toward the future, they picture the younger generations stepping up to become active in a changing world. They see businesses and lawmakers putting positive things in motion to create a safe and strong economy for those who will arrive in the coming decades, or doctors finding cures for heart breaking diseases that no one should ever face.
That’s why September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Over the past few decades, and with the expansion of the packaged and processed foods industry, overall health has declined in the United States. These unhealthy lifestyle options affect people of all ages, with childhood obesity an unfortunate result. In fact, in the past four decades, childhood obesity has increased fourfold among children between the ages of 2 and 11, making it a national epidemic.
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month was founded in 2010, as an effort to raise awareness and take action against the rise in childhood obesity. Here are a few of the issues that contribute to the increase in unhealthy children nationwide:
- More than 23 million (31.8%) children and teenagers in the United States are either overweight or obese.
- Nearly 1 in 3 children (and one in two in minority children) are at early risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke and will most likely develop Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lifetime.
Though these are distressing facts, we have a few tips to help families counter childhood obesity and live full, healthy lives:
- Stay Active: Instead of spending an afternoon playing video games, take a walk to the neighborhood park and play for an hour or two.
- Eat Healthy: In the most basic sense, eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Also, make sure your meals are balanced and include fruits and vegetables.
- Educate Yourself: Children obesity can be caused by lifestyle choices, but some people are also more prone to obesity due to genetics. That doesn’t mean it is inevitable, though, so keep yourself informed. Pay attention to the differences between the two and make choices that will positively affect your health.
Still not sure exactly how to stay healthy and active? Your local urgent care (like Doctors Express) has doctors who would be happy to answer questions, provide tips and suggestions and help guide you and your family as you strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
What questions do you have about childhood obesity?