About one in five, equivalent to 19%, children in the US are obese. 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.
Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults, this can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.
Childhood obesity is influenced by many factors including eating and physical activity, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some, obesity may be influenced by:
- Too much time spent being inactive
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of places to go in the community and get physical activity
- Easy access to inexpensive, high-calorie foods and sugary beverages
- Lack of access to affordable, healthier foods
There are ways you can help ensure your children are a healthy weight:
- Be aware of your child’s growth
- Provide nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables in place of foods high in added sugars and solid fats.
- Make sure drinking water is always available as an alternative to sugary beverages and limit juice intake.
- Help children get the recommended amount of physical activity each day.
- Be a role model. Eat healthy meals and snacks and get the right amount of physical activity every day.
Eating healthy on a budget is doable
Make a plan before heading to the store:
- Plan your weekly meals
- Make a grocery list – and stick to it
- Look for discounts and deals
Central Counties Health Centers receives deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Central Illinois Foodbank every Tuesday and Thursday. You can grab what you need at the Cook Street location year-round.
If you have any concerns about your child’s eating habits or involvement in physical activities speak with your health provider.