Are you aware that 1 out of 3 children in the United States suffer from obesity? September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, started by President Barack Obama in 2016. The hope for this is to give families the knowledge and resources to make smarter decisions with children’s diets and health activities. The month of September was chosen for good reason. It is when a majority of kids in the nation start back school after summer vacation. By having a whole month dedicated to childhood obesity, we as a nation can raise awareness about the epidemic and show that change is not only possible but easily attainable.
Being obese simply means that you have an excessive amount of body fat. Children who are obese run a higher risk at future health problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and heart disease. These health issues were once only seen in adults, but are now beginning to be seen in children under 18. Being an obese child may also cause possible negative psychological problems. These can include depression, low self-esteem, poor body image, and behavioral and learning problems.
What causes obesity can be attributed to a number of things. Eating foods with high amounts of sugars and fats while not eating enough fruits and vegetables can cause someone to be overweight. Eating patterns can be a big deal as well. It is extremely unhealthy to miss a meal and then cram in multiple meals worth later on. You also want to make sure that you engage in enough physical activities, rather than sit at home on the couch watching television or sleeping all day.
The one good thing about childhood obesity is that it is 100 percent curable and preventable. Parents can do many things to make sure that their children do not become obese. Make your kids eat the right servings of fruits and vegetables a day and cut down on the sodas and junk food. Plan a full day outside with your children and get them physically active every day. Reduce the amount of television your family watches. The best way is to lead by example. Show your children that getting outside and eating healthy is fun and a very important aspect in one’s life.
Written by: Cody Harris