Childhood Obesity – Part II

In the first article, we discussed the various factors that come into play as they relate to childhood obesity.

Children and adolescents are heavily influenced by the adults in their life.  Parents can help prevent childhood obesity by leading healthy lifestyles.  This includes healthy meal preparation, healthy snacks and plenty of exercise and activity. 

What impact it would have on this growing epidemic if children:

  • Were encouraged read labels and cook from scratch
  • Were given a variety of foods to eat
  • Were shown appropriate portion sizes for each food group
  • Were required to stay active throughout the day
  • Were given several healthy activities to choose from
  • Were enrolled in community sports programs

Many of the items above should be family-based events which strengthens the fabric of the family and helps everyone be healthier

While you can’t ignore that genetics and hormones play a part in a person’s weight, lifestyle changes have the potential to make a huge impact on the health and well-being of children.

School districts across the country are working to be part of the solution by spending more time, energy, and money to educate, feed and provide community programs that focus on healthy lifestyles.  An example of this is Foodcorps, a national program dedicated to providing food education in schools.

Foodcorps teachers develop and deliver hands-on cooking, gardening, and tasting lessons for kids.  They also work with cafeteria staff to provide healthier meal and snack options.  And they work with administrators, teachers, and staff to create a school-wide culture of making healthier lifestyle choices so kids are surrounded by adults who encourage them to make the right decisions.

Another example is the NFL-sponsored Play 60, a health and wellness campaign designed to get kids moving at least sixty minutes per day. And through their Fuel Up to Play 60 program, parents and educators work together to make the most of healthy living by teaming up together and inspiring others in their community.

School districts are making sports programs and health and wellness initiatives more easily accessible to all kids. From recess to physical education classes, team sports, and targeted programs like Girls on the Run, schools are encouraging children and adolescents to stay active.