Childhood Obesity Awareness | Know the Facts
Sep 4th, 2014
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity continues to be a growing problem in the United States. Many factors have contributed to greater numbers of children and teenagers becoming overweight. It’s easy to understand how a more sedentary lifestyle has evolved, starting with television, and progressing into game consoles, iPads, smartphones, and computers. These devices are often used to occupy time that might otherwise have been spent in a more physically active manner. In addition, the low cost and convenience of pre-processed and fast food may have partially replaced healthier food preparation and eating habits in many families.
Besides social issues like low self-esteem and getting bullied, what’s at stake is the same for kids as it is for overweight adults: a higher risk for serious problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep problems, joint pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even certain cancers as an adult. So, what can you do about it? There are some great resources and smart ideas from a number of quality organizations involved in helping reduce childhood obesity (references below). Here are some action items and useful links from these resources.
- Be a role model. Eat healthier foods and be more active as a family
- Post the Let’s Move Family Activity Calendar on your refrigerator and let the kids pick activities
- Limit screen time to 2 hours or less per day using a Let’s Move Screen Time Log
- 60 minutes of daily activity can happen in shorter 5 or 10 minute segments, as long as it builds up to 60
- Shop, cook and plan for healthy meals
- Make a shopping list with healthy foods using the Let’s Move Grocery List Template
- Provide healthy snacks like fruits and veggies. Let the kids choose which ones at the grocery store
- Offer your child water or low-fat milk instead of high-calorie fruit juice
- Use the We Can! GO, SLOW and WHOA Foods chart to make smart food choices
- Be supportive and let your child know they are loved for who they are
- Reward success with praise. Use positive reinforcement
I encourage you to click on the above links and explore the following websites for more information and ideas. Although there is no “magic pill” for weight loss, our pharmacists can help answer questions you may have about prescription and non-prescription weight loss products.