SIHF Highlights Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and SIHF Healthcare wants to bring awareness to this growing epidemic among our children.
Did you know that 1 in 5 children in the United States are obese?
This is a major concern because children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.
So where do we begin to help our children with the fight against obesity?
“There are many factors that can have an impact on childhood obesity, such as physical activity, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, community and social factors. But quite arguably the biggest factor is eating habits,” according to Dr. Akemie Gray, head of the pediatrics department at SIHF Healthcare.
It can sometimes be a struggle to get children to eat healthy, especially with the busy lifestyles we lead, where drive-thru and grab-on-the-go snacks are second nature due to convenience and time restraints. However, studies show that the food we feed our children in infancy and in the early stages of childhood can have a lasting effect on their health as adults, so there’s no better time than now to start creating healthy habits.
Dr. Gray highlights five simple ways to improve your family’s eating habits:
- Don’t skip breakfast.
- Keep healthy snacks and food on hand.
- Watch your portions.
- Eat as a family.
- Keep family meals media free.
“By incorporating these healthy habits into your family’s routine, you are not only reducing the odds of childhood obesity occurring, but also helping develop life-saving habits for your children now and in their future,” she added.
SIHF Healthcare’s pediatric staff prides themselves in providing the best quality care to your child. You can rely on their team of medical experts to assist with questions you have and how to educate yourself, so you fully understand everything about your child’s health. To make an appointment with one of their pediatric providers, visit https://www.sihf.org/patient-care-services/pediatrics.