Take Action to Battle Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity seems to be a growing problem in the United States. It is a national epidemic that has the attention of parents, caregivers, educators, and the government.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.
  • Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.

Healthy People 2010 identified overweight and obesity as 1 of 10 leading health indicators and called for a reduction in the proportion of children and adolescents who are overweight or obese, but the United States has made little progress toward the target goal. Progress toward reducing the national prevalence of overweight and obesity is monitored using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Childhood obesity leads to many potential health issues that threaten longevity. Heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues can result from being overweight. The psychosocial issues are also a big challenge for kids who are often made fun of or bullied for being overweight.

Completely Kids Richmond is committed to providing parents and caregivers with resources to help them raise kids the healthiest way possible. We’ll include information on healthy nutrition, active lifestyles, and more to support the initiative to fight childhood obesity. And it all starts here.

Parents Taking Action

As parent, what can we do to encourage better nutritional health? Completely Kids met with a local nutritionist who shared these ideas to help parents take action:

  • Set an example by eating healthy as adults
  • Encourage visits with children to local farmer’s markets and healthy food markets to showcase colorful foods
  • Shop on the outside aisles when shopping
  • Involve kids in preparing healthy meals at home
  • Limit eating out where high fat, high sugar foods fill the menus
  • Pack healthy school lunches or purchase lunches only from healthy school lunch providers
  • Support and encourage healthier foods in your child’s cafeteria – focusing on salad bars, vegetables, and other healthy foods
  • Offer water to kids often – and give them a chance to drink water at school (some teachers restrict water consumption due to disruption for bathroom breaks!)
  • Limit the use of sweets or sugary dessert and drinks to a minimum
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of healthy outdoor activity whenever possible
  • Limit the use of television and other electronics which lead to sedentary lifestyles

Taking important steps to fight childhood obesity takes commitment and persistence. Watch for more information on our website to help you while “Raising Kids in the Richmond Area”!