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September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Nebraska City News-Press

The Southeast District Health Department wants residents in the district to know that September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

About 1 in 5 (19 percent) children in the United States has obesity. 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. Certain groups of children are more affected than others. National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month provides a chance for all of us to learn more about this serious health condition. While there is no simple solution, there are many ways communities can support children with their journey to good health.

Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem

Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.

Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.

Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.

Childhood Obesity Is Influenced by Many Factors

Many factors can have an impact on childhood obesity, including eating and physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some children and families, obesity may be influenced by the following:

too much time spent being inactive

not enough sleep

lack of places to go in the community to get physical activity

high calorie foods and sugary beverages less expensive then healthy food

lack of access to affordable, healthier foods

To learn more go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention