The Comfort of Collaborative Care

National Childhood Obesity Month

by Premier Health

September is National Childhood Obesity Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 children in the United States is obese. It is important to know the causes of obesity in children in order to combat it.

There are many factors that contribute to childhood obesity. These factors include lack of sleep, lack of physical activity, lack of places to go to achieve physical activity, access to high-calorie foods and drinks, and lack of access to healthier food. Certain children may be at higher risk due to genetics, metabolism, family/home environment, and community factors.

Children with obesity are more likely to face health problems than children who are in a healthy weight bracket. Health risks from childhood obesity include asthma, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and bone and joint problems. In addition to physical health problems, they are more likely to be socially isolated from their peers, which can result in low self-esteem and even depression.

Parents and caregivers can combat childhood obesity by providing healthier foods like fruits and vegetables in place of sugary, high-calorie, and fat-saturated foods. Limiting juice and sugary drink intake is important, as is encouraging healthy snacks. Be a role model and eat healthy foods to set a good example for your child.

Making sure your child is getting proper sleep is also important. Children, depending on their age, need about 8 hours of sleep each night. Make a bedtime routine by making sure your child is getting to bed every night at the same time. Remove electronics and other stimulants from your child’s room. 

It is recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Encourage your child to play outside or join a sports league if possible.

Speak to your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns. Premier Health Associates is open 7 days a week.

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