September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
First 5 San Diego leads the San Diego community in promoting the importance of the first five years of life for the well-being of children, families and society. That’s why September is important to our mission. National Childhood Obesity Awareness month is observed in September. It shines a light on the importance of seeing that our children maintain a healthy weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a hazard faced by children who are obese is that they are more likely to be obese as adults. Extended obesity can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems, including diabetes and increased risk of certain cancers. Also, children who are obese face more bullying and stigma.
Childhood obesity is influenced by many factors. For some children and families factors may include too much time spent in sedentary activities such as television viewing; a lack of bedtime routine leading to too little sleep; a lack of community places to get adequate physical activity; easy access to inexpensive, high calorie snacks and beverages; and/or a lack of access to affordable, healthier foods.
Live Well San Diego provides excellent resources for information on healthy living for the entire family. The website has videos and informational resources on planning and shopping for healthy meals on a budget, how to read nutritional labels, and much more.
The Live Well San Diego initiative began in 2010 solely as a health strategy, recognizing that San Diego County, like much of the nation, was facing a tidal wave of chronic diseases, including obesity, and rising healthcare costs. The strategy has since evolved into a county-wide vision to improve the health, safety and quality of life of all County residents.
MyPlate is another valuable resource for information on nutrition for young children. The website serves as a reminder to find a healthy eating style for your children and build it throughout their lifetime. Everything your children eat and drink matters. The right mix can help them be healthier now and in the future. Here are some tips and recommendations:
- Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition
- Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars
- Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles
- Support healthy eating for everyone
Join us in celebrating community health and the prevention of obesity in our youngest citizens. Let’s give our children the best start in life possible!