September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and there is information out there that will help kids, parents, teachers find ways to get kids up and moving.
All kids deserve to experience the positive health benefits of daily physical activity and healthy eating, and have those opportunities available to them.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has developed programs and resources to help children and parents, and they’re available in agencies including the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health’s We Can!! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) program.
On the aforementioned President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition website Council co-chair and New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees tells us:
Like all parents, I want my kids to avoid the health problems caused by childhood obesity. And there are many ways to be active and to get in your fruits and vegetables every day. It's about making the healthy choice the easy choice, and ensuring that all kids have access to safe places to play, physical activity opportunities during school hours and out of school, and providing affordable, nutritious food options which the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was created to do.
The Council also provided the following stats:
Only one in three children are [sic] physically active every day
Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, videogames, computer)
Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants has more than doubled
More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts – areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket
Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults
For children with disabilities, obesity rates are approximately 38% higher than for children without disabilities