September marks National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, which reminds us that adults are not the only ones affected by weight and its impact on health.
In fact, childhood obesity affects more than 30 percent of children in the United States – and this number is only climbing. As adults, we more easily recognize the importance of building a healthy body and lifestyle. Children, however, are still developing and learning to navigate the world – which means that role models are crucial in setting the example for a healthier and stronger future.
Play a Role in National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month!
Modeling health and wellness for today’s youth requires a community approach, and there are plenty of ways to step-in and get involved!
Be a Model in Your Own Family
Emphasize the importance of sound nutrition, physical activity, regular visits to the doctor and good mental health. Teach your family that health is a priority that should never go ignored.
Address Stigma, Bias and Bullying
Oftentimes, children affected by excess weight or obesity are targets for weight-based bullying. Talk to the children in your life about rejecting bias, building self-confidence and seeking improved health for themselves – not because of words or actions from others.
Influence School Leaders
Teachers, school administrators, after-school daycare leaders and others can have a positive influence on children in their care. Consider becoming involved in parent-teacher programs to suggest changes such as healthier lunches, more time for exercise and lessons which promote positive self-image.
Educate Healthcare Providers
Just as with adults, pediatricians may find it difficult to address weight and health with a child and his/her family. Talk to your child’s healthcare providers personally about using sensitive language and focusing on healthy lifestyle habits rather than a number on the scale.
Want more information about childhood obesity and additional ways that you can be a part of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month? Get armed with the right education and information about childhood obesity by CLICKING HERE.
To learn more about Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, you can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site by CLICKING HERE.