September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
About one in three children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has serious health consequences like Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease and can affect children in adulthood if not addressed.
But there’s good news! We have the power to shape our children’s perspective on health and educate them about the importance of a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. Below are some simple tips to help you and your children make lasting, healthier choices.
- Get active as a family. Participating in physical activities together like walking the neighborhood, going on a bike ride or playing soccer are great ways to encourage physical activity and bond with your family.
- Reduce screen time. Spending too much time being inactive increases the risk of childhood obesity. Limit screen time to two hours a day.
- Get a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep can contribute to obesity in children. Children six to 13 years old need nine to 11 hours of sleep and teenagers 14 to 17 should aim for eight to 10 hours.
- Make healthy foods and snacks easily available. Many children choose unhealthy foods and beverages because they are more convenient. Keep lots of healthy snacks on hand for children to grab and go and include them in their lunches.
- Teach your children about proper nutrition. One of the most significant barriers to proper nutrition is lack of understanding. Teaching children about nutrition and healthy eating, especially at a young age, has a significant impact on the food choices they make now and later on in life.
For more information about childhood obesity, visit the CDC’s website.