September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
The most recent 2013-2014 CDC report states that one third of children and teens in the U.S. are overweight or obese. This September, learn about childhood obesity awareness month. Based on data from the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC, in 2013-2014, 17.2% of U.S. children and teens ages 2-19 had weights that fell into the overweight to obese range. It is believed that there has been a further escalation in obesity rates since 2014, with about 23 million children and teens now likely overweight or obese. This epidemic puts almost one third of U.S. kids at early risk of developing diabetes.
There is escalating concern by health experts in this country, that obesity is contributing to and driving higher rates of high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke (all conditions normally associated with adulthood) in teens and young adults. Leaders and experts in health and public policy believe “we all must be part of the solution.” COAM, the acronym for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month was created to build awareness and take action – nationally and locally, at home and in the workplace, at the state and city level, to intercept obesity rates and shift the tide.
President Obama and the U.S. Congress both issued proclamations declaring September 2010 the first national COAM and since then a number of initiatives are helping to make a difference:
Designed to Move is a call-to-action supported by a community of public, private and civil-sector organizations dedicated to ending the growing epidemic of physical inactivity.
Every Body Walk! is a campaign aimed at getting Americans up and moving. Thanks to a great many partner organizations, Every Body Walk! is working to spread the message that walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, really can improve your overall health and prevent disease.
100 Citizens is a program of the City of San Fernando Partnership for Healthy Families that believes ending childhood obesity begins with the family. Families receive advice and guidance to about beginning exercise programs.
Project ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously), is signature program of the Youth Fitness Coalition, Inc., created by physical education teacher Len Saunders in 1989 as a method of motivating children to exercise.
How can parents prevent obesity and support their kids’ health during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?
1. Make sure your child gets adequate sleep
2. Limit daily screen time
3. Make sure kids meet appropriate daily fitness goals
4. Emphasize consumption of whole foods and serve appropriate portion sizes
5. Do not use food as rewards
6. Serve water and skim milk as primary beverages
7. Make fruits and vegetables a regular part of snacks
8. Model healthy behaviors
HealthCorps works at the grassroots level in schools and communities but also believes its advocacy efforts are needed to assist in moving America to the tipping point of wellness. Read more about HealthCorps imprint and programs including Living Labs and HCU (HealthCorps University).