September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
1 in 5 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
The good news is that you can help your child maintain a healthy weight by balancing calories. Balancing calories does not mean restricting food or putting your child on a diet. Instead, it means making sure the calories your child is eating and drinking match the amount that they need to grow and play. Here’s how you can balance those calories as a family:
Work on your healthy eating habits together
- Choose fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods or foods high in sugar or fat.
- Choose water over other beverages, such as soda and fruit juice.
- Choose lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and beans.
- Be mindful of portion sizes.
- Look for ways to make your favorite dish healthier.
Work on staying active together
- Make sure you both get your 60 minutes of activity every day. Walk the neighborhood, take a bike ride, play basketball in the park, or other age-appropriate activities.
- Reduce sedentary time. Remember that reading and rest time are good, but reduce television and other screen time to no more than two hours a day.
Childhood obesity prevention can start in your home, but community support is also essential.
- Ask your child’s school how they are supporting healthy eating and physical activity during the school day.
- Ask your child’s school about how they are using The Great Body Shop to give children opportunities to learn about healthy choices and habits.
Visit this website to learn more: cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/index.html