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September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 29, 2020

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:

  • Asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and Type 2 diabetes
  • They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression and lower self-esteem.
  • Obesity as adults

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.

Childhood Obesity And Heart Health

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.

They include:  

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Elevated blood cholesterol levels.

There are also the psychological effects of low self-esteem, negative body image, and depression.

How The AHA Is Helping

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:

  1. Alliance for a Healthier Generation supports a holistic approach to health promotion. In addition to physical activity and healthy eating, they address multiple, critical child and adolescent health issues.
  2. The Kids Heart Challenge focuses on whole-body wellness, helping students improve their own health and better their character while raising life-saving donations for the American Heart Association to help kids facing heart-health issues.
  3. The NFL PLAY 60 Challenge hopes to inspire middle school students to be more physically active, and Be the Beat trains the next generation of lifesavers to improve outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest on their interactive website.

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.

What You Can Do At Home

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.

Dr. Craft-Portion Sizes

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.

healthy eating