More than 23 million children and teenagers in the U.S. are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic. While obesity rates have soared among all age groups in this country, obesity is a particularly grave concern for children.
Childhood obesity puts nearly one third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood.
It’s not too late for our children. Every September, National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (COAM), gives elected officials, educators, physicians, and you the opportunity to take a stand and fight childhood obesity. This year, there are dozens of ways you can help bring the message back to your state, city, workplace and home. Need some ideas to get you started? Download our toolkit, which offers quick, easy ways you can get involved.
Just as we all own the problem of childhood obesity, we must all be part of the solution. There are as many approaches as there are communities, partner organizations and advocates. Are there events that can carry themes relating to healthy lifestyles? Can you use messages from the toolkit in newsletters, social media posts or letters to the editor? Are you in touch with elected officials, school leaders or others who can do more to help the effort?
Healthy lifestyles—being physically active, eating sensibly and avoiding tobacco use—involves the elements of our everyday lives. So does promoting those healthy lifestyles in our communities. Wherever you are—schools, workplaces, stores, homes, anywhere—you can look for ways to tell others about maintaining individual health and making it easier for everyone to prevent and address childhood obesity. That’s the spirit of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. It’s all of us, working together and individually in whatever ways we can.