National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
In the United States, childhood obesity has become a serious problem. About 14.7 million children and adolescents are obese, and the problem keeps worsening each year. According to recent studies, obesity prevalence was 12.7% among children ages 2 through 5 years old and 20.8% among children 6 through 11 years old.
Obesity is defined as having a BMI, or body mass index, at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC sex-specific BMI-for-age charts. To help solve the problem of rising obesity among America’s youth, September was designated as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. This month attempts to raise awareness about childhood obesity so that the problem can be addressed before it worsens.
The History of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Although we are unsure of the exact date when National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month was created, we believe that it coincided with the Surgeon General warning the American public about the rising epidemic of childhood obesity around the turn of the 21st century.
This is when people really began to focus on this issue, and from 2000 to 2007, almost 30 different research studies were conducted on childhood obesity to understand the underlying causes contributing to it.
Facts About Childhood Obesity
Below are some facts that we have learned about childhood obesity during our research for this month. Let’s take a quick look at them before continuing with this article.
- In low-income groups, obesity prevalence was 18.9% among children aged 2 to 19 years old.
- In high-income groups, obesity prevalence was 10.9% among children in that same age group.
- Obesity prevalence was 26.2% among Hispanic children, 24.8% among non-Hispanic black children, and 9% among non-Hispanic Asian children.
Observing National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
During this month, we encourage everyone to learn more about childhood obesity and what can be done to curb it—at least in their own households. There are several things that parents can do to decrease the likelihood of their child becoming obese.
This includes encouraging them to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, have them exercise more, and reduce the number of sugar-sweetened products in their diet. It’s also a good idea for parents to reduce their children’s screen time and help them get a good night’s sleep by establishing a sleep schedule.
We also encourage people to spread the news about this month by using the hashtag #ChildhoodObesityAwarenessMonth. Let’s help parents all over the U.S. reduce the risk of their children developing obesity by ensuring that they have the information they need. If we all work together, we can reduce the incidence of childhood obesity in the U.S.