September is National Childhood Obesity Month. About 1 in 5 American children has obesity. Many factors such as sleep routines, physical activity, genetics and eating patterns contribute to this statistic. And unfortunately, childhood obesity puts children at a higher risk for asthma, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint issues, and more.
Health Equity and Obesity
There are harmful stereotypes that surround obesity in children. The idea that the obese child is only eating unhealthy food or that the parent/caregiver is not providing enough physical activity or healthy food options for their children is a false assumption. In fact, health equity plays a massive role in why childhood obesity rates are so high.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of Americans do not live within half a mile of a park. Over 40% of families do not live within a mile of healthier food options. If the parent/caregiver of a child does not have access to healthy food options or access to a place where children can run and play, how can they reduce the risk of childhood obesity?
Click here to learn more about what the federal government, state and local officials, health care professionals, and more can do to help with childhood obesity.
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity (DNPAO), and Obesity provides tools and resources to make healthy living easier for everyone. The DNPAO recognizes that there is no easy solution to obesity in children or adults.
What You Can Do
If you are a parent or guardian of a child, the statistics surrounding childhood obesity can be alarming. There are ways you can help prevent obesity in your child. The CDC recommends the following:
If you need more help when it comes to preventing or managing childhood obesity in your family, AFSPA offers nutrition and weight management programs through the Foreign Service Benefit Plan. These programs can help you learn about healthier eating habits and physical activities that you can teach your children.