September’s designation as National Childhood Obesity Month is a time to address the growing health epidemic in America and what can be done to address the problem.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six American children are obese. Being overweight can create a variety of health conditions in youth that typically are not seen until adulthood: type 2 diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, bone and joint problems and sleep apnea.
Further, obese children are more susceptible to bullying and teasing than their peers, potentially leading to mental health issues such as negative body image, low self-esteem and depression.
Superior Med’s family medicine locations in Cambridge, Byesville and Caldwell, Ohio can address parents’ concerns over their children’s weight issues and develop plans to help youth live more healthy lifestyles.
Superior Med knows that childhood obesity is also a major issue in Guernsey County. According to the Community Health Needs Assessment Report issued by Southeastern Med, area parents report that 23% of children are overweight.
Obesity at young ages is impacted by a number of factors, according to the CDC:
- Too much time being sedentary
- Excessive amounts of high-calorie foods and sweet beverages
- Lack of access to inexpensive, healthy food options
- Not enough sleep
- Lack of access to community places offering physical activity
Parents can help set their children up to live healthier by promoting the following activities:
- Increase their exposure to physical activity options
- Focus on offering fruits and vegetables with meals, replacing packaged foods full of sugars and solid fats
- Replace sodas and juices with water