Ohio AAP Promotes National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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Parents are encouraged to support healthy choices for the entire family.

More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States are obese or overweight, putting them at higher risk for many health problems including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (http://www.ohioaap.org) wants to educate parents about the risks associated with childhood obesity, and help them find ways to keep their young ones healthy and active.

“More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States are obese or overweight, putting them at higher risk for many health problems including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said Melissa Wervey Arnold, Executive Director for the Ohio AAP. “There are many things we can do to help improve these statistics, and the Ohio AAP and our member pediatricians are working hard to educate parents about the importance of healthy eating and physically active lifestyles for the entire family.”

With back-to-school time, fall sports and a more hectic schedule, eating healthy and finding time for everyone in the family to exercise can prove challenging. The Ohio AAP offers these tips for packing healthy lunches and keeping children active before and after school:

  •     Wrap it up! Use a whole wheat wrap to change up your child’s sandwiches. Fill them with lean protein with low-fat cheese slices or veggie cream cheese topped with cucumber. Even peanut butter and jelly will work in a wrap!
  •     Think fresh and colorful! Your children will be more apt to eat their fruits and veggies if they’re bright and fun! Pack strawberry slices mixed with blueberries, or carrot sticks mixed with cherry tomatoes and include a dip made from yogurt or low fat sour cream.
  •     Skip the soda. Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60%. Choose 100% juice boxes or bottled water for your child’s lunch instead.
  •     Create an active morning routine. Spare time is a luxury many families don’t have, especially in the morning. But, you can get your children moving before school and check a few things off your task list by encouraging them to make their beds and pick up their rooms before sitting down to breakfast. You can also do timed challenges by having kids march in place or hop on one foot between their morning duties.
  •     Turn physical activity into family fun. Taking your kids for a bike ride or quick hike around your neighborhood after dinner is a great way to benefit your family’s bond, as well as your family’s health. It also has the added benefit of providing movement and activity before important times of learning – like homework or bedtime reading.

For more information and materials on obesity prevention, visit our website at: http://ohioaap.org/projects/PMP/FamilyResources/

The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) promotes the health, safety and well being of children and adolescents so they may reach their full potential. The Ohio AAP works to accomplish this by addressing the needs of children, their families, and their communities, and by supporting Chapter members through advocacy, education, research, service, and improving the systems through which they deliver pediatric care.
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Jill Buterbaugh
Krile Communications
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