The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that 1 in 5 children in the United States are currently considered obese. The Mayo Clinic explains that, “Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. Children who are obese are above the normal weight for their age and height.”
September is observed as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. According to the CDC, this public health awareness campaign “provides a chance for all of us to learn more about this serious health condition.” Children with obesity tend to be at higher risk for other chronic health conditions and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and sleep apnea. These children are also more likely to be bullied and thus more prone to social isolation, depression and low self-esteem. As obese children are more likely to become obese adults, there is a likelihood of lifelong physical and mental health issues as well.
If you have a child who is struggling with obesity, the American Heart Association (AHA), suggests the following tips for parents and caregivers:
- Encourage healthy eating habits: provide plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and include low fat and no-fat dairy products in meals. Serve reasonably sized portions.
- Make favorite dishes healthier.
- Remove calorie-rich temptations.
- Help your kids understand the benefits of being physically active.
- Help kids stay active by setting the example.
- Reduce sedentary time.
To schedule an annual physical for you or your child or for nutritional counseling referrals, you may walk-in to any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, or you may schedule an appointment by visiting our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.