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According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in every 5 children is considered obese. That’s why September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. It provides a chance for all of us to learn more about this serious health condition.
Obese children are at risk for a number of health-related issues, including:
They’re also at an increased risk for heart problems. We often talk about heart health as it relates to adults, but we should be equally concerned about the well-being of our children’s hearts. So, let’s look at some of the bigger concerns when it comes to childhood obesity and heart health and what you can do to help.
Researchers with the American Heart Association say that childhood obesity remains the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States. It worries parents more than drug abuse and smoking. Obesity is causing a broad range of heart-health problems in kids.
There are also the psychological effects of low self-esteem, negative body image, and depression.
The American Heart Association is working on several fronts to make a change in this pattern. In general, they’re developing strategies to improve the social and physical environment for healthy eating and physical activity in children.
Their children’s health initiatives include:
There are lots of ways to get your child moving through these programs. Some even use virtual experiences to energize classrooms or even living rooms.
In addition to getting your children exercising more often, the battle with childhood obesity can be won with healthy eating. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans can help you improve overall eating patterns, not only for you but for your children, too.
You can also look through our guide: “Eating Healthy On a Busy Schedule.” The guide will provide simple changes you can start making today that will help you and your child eat healthier.