It’s no secret that many kids aren’t as active as previous generations. With the abundance of screens, from televisions and tablets to phones and computers, many children today are more apt to be found sitting on a couch, eyes glued to a screen, instead of playing outside. As you can imagine, this lack of activity isn’t exactly ideal for the health of our nation’s children, which is why National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is observed in September and September 24 is even Family Health and Fitness Day.
During this time, community leaders, healthcare professionals, families, and individuals are raising awareness about the growing problem of childhood obesity by offering opportunities for parents to learn about prevention methods and how to address the problem early on. Did you know that children grappling with obesity issues at a young age are much more likely to struggle with the very same issues into adulthood? By taking a proactive approach, healthcare providers and parents can help get children moving and eating better to prevent health issues, such as diabetes, heart problems, sleep disorders, and certain types of cancers.
How Big of a Problem Is Childhood Obesity in the U.S.?
Over the last four decades, the problem of childhood obesity has grown to epidemic proportions. It’s such a common condition among today’s youth that an estimated 12.7 million children are either overweight or obese. Simply put, about 1 in 3 American children are obese or overweight. That’s a high number, and it should spur parents to action considering the fact that obesity opens children up to an array of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Fortunately, this growing epidemic can be prevented. In fact, the purpose of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is to raise awareness of the problem and educate families on strategies to help prevent their children from becoming obese.
Check out page 2 for ideas on how to stay healthy.