National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Did you know that 1 out of every 5 children in the United States suffer from obesity? While some groups are more at risk of obesity than others, there are ways we can help. September has been named the “National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” While there is no quick and easy solution to curing obesity, this month is bringing awareness to childhood obesity and steps that families can take to help reduce the risk of obesity in their own household.
The Earlier You Start, the Better
It’s not uncommon for children who have obesity to become overweight adults. Teaching children healthy habits earlier encourages them to carry these healthy habits into adulthood. Not only will the child be healthier, but they’ll learn the importance of proper discipline and healthy habits when it comes to food and exercise.
Monitor the Activities That Promote Obesity
As a parent we should always be keeping an eye on what our children are up to. Obesity can affect anyone, even if other age groups or demographics may be at larger risk. This is why it’s very important to monitor the types of activities that children are engaged in. While childhood obesity is a result of many different variables and factors, one of the largest contributors is taking part in an excessive amount of sedentary activities. Such activities include watching television, playing games on the computer, browsing the internet, watching videos online, and similar activities. While these are not inherently problematic, they can become a problem when done excessively.
Develop Proper Sleep Habits and Routines
Lack of sleep can result in the body’s inability to properly metabolize food efficiently. Without sleep, our bodies become less effective across the board and this can affect our weight in negative ways. This is why it’s important to get children into proper sleep habits with regular bedtime routines that help them to maintain these habits without having to think about it.
Find Places to Stay Active
Although it’s important to limit sedentary activities in excess (like watching TV or playing on the computer), it’s sometimes not enough to counteract obesity in children. Children need to stay active and physically engaged through sports, exercise or other activities that keep them moving. While sports are not a requirement, finding ways for them to stay active is a great way to keep obesity away. Hiking and other family activities are a great way to get the entire family moving! Here are a few tips to motivate your kids to be more active.
To learn more about childhood obesity, visit our website at North County Health Services or give us a call to meet one-on-one with one of our healthcare professionals.