September’s National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is a time for Americans to worry about the overweight and obese children in the United States. Many contributing factors to childhood obesity present serious health risks for children. Still, generally, it is caused by an imbalance between the number of calories children consume and the amount of physical activity they get.
Other factors contributing to childhood obesity include genetics, environment, and lifestyle. For example, a child may be more likely to become obese if their parents are obese. A sedentary lifestyle that includes little physical activity and lots of time spent watching television, using the computer, or playing video games also increases a child’s risk for obesity.
Overweight children are at increased risk for various health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and asthma. If a child is obese, they have an increased likelihood of being an obese adult, which then often leads to other health issues such as heart disease or strokes.
Fortunately, childhood obesity is preventable. Parents can help decrease childhood obesity by providing healthy meals and snacks, encouraging physical activity, and limiting screen time.
The best way to create a generation of healthy kids is by ensuring that children maintain a balanced weight. You can calculate your child’s body mass index (BMI) to gauge how your child’s measurements compare to other kids who are the same age and gender. Kids’ weight can fluctuate quickly during puberty, so BMI is not as accurate.
While BMI is not a perfect measure, it is still an excellent tool for tracking your child’s weight over time. If you are concerned that your child may be obese, talk to your child’s doctor to help you create a plan to improve your child’s health and reach a healthy weight.
7:24 Fitness is committed to helping children achieve a healthy weight. Call 815-564-9000 to learn how we promote healthy eating and physical activity.
7:24 Fitness on the Rock
107 ½ 1st Ave.
Rock Falls, IL 61071